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H. T A I N E 



Fourth Edition, with Corrections and an Index 




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, 


In the Clerk's office of the District Court of the United States for the South «n 
D'Ftriot oi New York. 






.: ■•: r:: : ".. i 

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, •»••■••••• • •• • * 

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• »••:- • • •• 

••••••••••• ♦ *• 


To M , at Paris. 

January 15, 1864. 
Do you know anything more disagreeable than an 
entr'acte ? You sit uneasily in your chair and stretch 
your limbs and yawn discreetly. Your eyes ache ; wan- 
dering about the house, they fix themselves for the hun- 
dredth time on the jaded features of the musicians : on the 
first violinist showing himself off, on the clarionette player 
taking breath, and on the patient basso resembling a 
hack horse resting after a relay. You turn round to the 
boxes, and over snowy shoulders perceive a big black spot, 
an enormous lorgnette, which like a huge proboscis seems 
to conceal the face behind it. A thick deleterious atmo- 
sphere hangs over the crowded parterre and orchestra ; 
through the cloud of illuminated dust you detect a multi- 
tude of uneasy faces grimacing and smiling hypocritically; 
— bad humour reveals itself beneath politeness and de- 
corum. You buy a newspaper and find it stupid. You 
even read the libretto which is still more stupid, and 
finally, grumble quietly to yourself that your evening 


is lost, the entr'acte being so much more tedious than 
the play is amusing. 

There are an infinity of entr'actes in travelling. These 
are the dull hours of the day — getting up, going to bed, 
waiting at stations, between visits, and when you are 
weary and indifferent. At such times you look at things 
on the dark side. There is but one remedy, and that is 
a pencil and taking notes. 

You must regard this as a journal * with some of its 
pages missing, and moreover, entirely personal. I do not 
pretend that what pleases me will please you, and still less 
that it will please others. Heaven preserve us from 
legislators in matters of beauty, pleasure, and emotion ! 
What each one feels is peculiar and appropriate to him- 
self like his nature; my experiences will depend upon 
what I am. 

Apropos to this, I must begin with somewhat of self- 
examination ; it is prudent to inspect an instrument 
before making use of it. According to my own experience 
this instrument, call it what you will, whether soul or in- 
tellect, derives greater pleasure from natural objects than 
from works of art ; nothing seems to it to equal mountains, 
seas, forests, and streams. It has always shown the same 
disposition in other things, in poetry as in music, in archi- 
tecture as in painting ; that which has most deeply im- 
pressed it is the natural spontaneous outflow of human 
forces, whatever these may be and under whatever form 

* The reader will bear in mind the political changes that have occurred 
id Italy, since this work was written, and, notably, the removal of the 
French troops from Rome. "By so doing, certain allusions and opinions (fof 
instance, on pages 65 and 308) will not seem out of place. — Te. 


they present themselves. Provided the artist is stirred 
by a profound passionate sentiment, and desires only to 
express this fully, as it animates him, without hesitation, 
feebleness, or reservation, the end is served ; if sincere and 
sufficiently mastei of his processes to translate his impres- 
sion? accurately and completely^ his work, whether ancient 
or modern, gothic or classic, is beautiful. In this respect 
it is a brief abstract of public sentiment, of the dominant 
passion of the hour and country in which it is born ; itself 
a natural work, the result of the mighty forces that guide 
or stimulate the conflict cf human activities. 

This instrument thus fashioned has been roaming 
through history, especially among literary works, and 
also a long time among works of art, — those only whicn 
through their strong relief hand down to posterity the 
being, forms, and personality of man through the engrav- 
ings and museums of France, Belgium, Holland, England, 
and Germany. Taking a comparative view of its impres- 
sions, first and above all come the heroic or ungovernable 
forces, that is to say, the colossal types of Michael 
Angelo and Rubens ; then the beauty of the voluptuous- 
ness and joyous feeling of the Venetian decorative art ; 
and then in the same, if not to a greater degree, the 
tragic and piercing sentiment of truth, the intensity of a 
Buffering visionary imagination, the bold transcripts of 
human squalor and misery, and the poesy of a misty 
northerly light in the works of Rembrandt. 

This is the instrument I now bear with me into Italy ; 
this is the colour of its lens ; that colouring is to be 
taken into account in the descriptions given. I distrust it 


somewhat myself and have endeavoured to provide othei 
lenses as occasion calls for them, which is possible, inas- 
much as education, history, and criticism furnish the 
means for so doing. Through reflection, study and habit 
we succeed by degrees in producing sentiments in our 
minds of which we were at first unconscious ; we find that 
another man in another age of necessity felt differently 
from ourselves ; we enter into his views, and then into his 

tastes, and as we place ourselves at his point of view com- 
prehend him, and, in comprehending him, find ourselves a 
little less superficial 









book n. 




LIFE . 34 









LINO • ••••••••• 89 



book m. 



— THE STREETS OF ROME ...•••• 98 












RAPHAEI •••••••••••50 












THE PRESENT DAY ••••••••• 204 


































Marseilles and Provence. — Here already is the true 
southern country; it begins with the Cevennes. A 
northern soil is always moist and sombre ; even in win- 
ter the fields remain green : here all is grey and neutral ; 
the mountains are bare, the rocks are white, and the 
broad plains dry and stony ; scarcely any trees are vis- 
ible, save on the slopes and in the hollows strewed with 
boulders, where the pale olive and the almond-tree find 
shelter for their meagre stems. Colour is wanting ; it 
is a pure, delicate, elegant drawing, like a background 
of Perugino's. The country resembles a great woven 
fabric, grey, striped and uniform ; but the mild pale sun 
yields genial light from the blue above, and a gentle 
breeze flutters about the cheeks like a caress. This is 
not winter, but rather an anticipation of summer. 


Suddenly all the magnificences of the south appear : 
the Etang de Berre, a glittering blue pool, motionless in 
its cup of white mountains ; then the sea, extending into 
infinity, with its broad, placid, radiant surface, as lustrous 
and delicate in colour as the most charming violet or a 
blooming periwinkle. All around arise striated moun- 
tains, seeming to glow with seraphic splendour, so much 
light is there about them— a light so imprisoned within 
their recesses by distance and atmosphere, as apparently 
to enrobe them. A conservatory flower in a marble vase 
— the pearly veins of an orchis with the pale velvet on 
the margin of its leaves, and the purple pollen slumbering 
in its calyx — has not a tenderer or more vivid hue. 

In the evening, along the margin of the sea, a gentle 
breeze cooled our brows; the odour of green trees diffused 
itself on all sides like a summer perfume ; the transparent 
water resembled a liquid emerald; the scarcely visible 
mountain forms, half lost in obscurity, and the grand 
lines of the coast, were always imposing, while on the 
horizon a glowing band of orange revealed the magnifi- 
cence of sunset. 

On hoard at ten o'clock. — This quiet port, this broad 
glittering black basin, is striking. Its dark masts and 
rigging furrow it with lines still darker. Three lanterns 
glimmer in the distance like stars, their long train of light 
trembling on the water like a necklace of pearls unrolling 
itself. The vessel glides from its moorings slowly like a 
colossal saurian, or some snorting antediluvian monster, 
while the water swells and heaves in its wake, as if dis- 
turbed by the monstrous fins and webbed feet of some 
gigantic frog. The screw beneath bores the sea inde- 
fatigably with its flanges, and the ship trembles in every 
limb. This powerful monotonous plunging continues all 
night, suggesting an enslaved plesiosaurus substituted 
for the labor of man. 


At sea. — The weather this morning is calm, mild, and 
misty. The little crested waves stud the slaty fog with 
brightness ; dripping clouds hang around the four corners 
of the horizon. What beauty a gleam of sunshine would 
impart to this dull velvety surface ! I have seen this sky 
and sea in their summer splendour. Words can feebly 
express the beauty of the boundless azure expanding 
on all sides into infinite space ! What a contrast when 
compared with the dangerous and lugubrious Atlantic ! 
This sea might be compared to a happy beautiful girl, 
robed in lustrous silk fresh from the loom. Blue, radiant 
blue ; blue above and blue below, and extending to 
the very verge of the horizon, with fringes of silver 
here and there dotting its moving gloss. One became 
Pagan again on feeling the piercing glance, the virile 
energy, the serenity of the magnificent sun, the great god 
of air. How he triumphed above us ! How he launched 
his handfuls of arrows on this immense waste ! How the 
waves flashed and quivered beneath this fiery hail ! One 
thought of the Nereids, of the sounding conchs of Tritons, 
of blonde dishevelled tresses, and white bodies streaming 
with foam. The heart seemed to be again stirred with 
the ancient religion of beauty and joyousness on thus 
encountering the landscape and climate that nourished it. 

Ever the same humid gloomy sky. The sea rolls 
slowly, half red and half blue, reflecting that dark purple 
hue so often seen in deep slate quarries. Occasionally 
the sun glimmers through the clouds, and illuminates a 
portion of the distance. 

Towards evening snowy peaks come in sight, then a 
long range of mountains, and, as we near these, the rugged 
embossed slopes of the brown coast of Corsica. This 
coast is grand on account of its simplicity, but such 
nudity is sterile. Involuntarily one recites Homer's 
veraes on the ' Ocean infecund and indomitable.' This 

n 2 


grand wild element is valueless ; man cannotr tame i^ 
subdue it, or accommodate it to his usages. 

Civita Vecchia. — The vessel comes to anchor. 
Through the grey dawn a round mole suddenly appears, 
and then a crenelated line of buildings, and flat red roofs 
clearly defined above the tranquil surface. Seaward a 
sailing vessel approaches, careening over on its side like a 
soaring bird. This is all — two or three black lines on a 
light background, with the freshness of the sea and the 
morning — and you have a marine pencil-sketch by some 
great master. 

On entering the town the impression changes ; it is a 
squalid city, made up of infected lanes and public build- 
ings, displaying the vulgarity and plainness of the uses 
to which they are applied. Some of these lanes are 
about five feet wide, and the houses lean against each 
other, supported by transverse beams. No sunshine ever 
finds its way into them ; the mud is like glue. An en- 
trance sometimes consists of an old mediaeval construc- 
tion, with a portal and a sort of embrasure. You advance 
' hesitatingly into this den ; on either side are dark holes, 
where filthy children, girls with tangled hair, are drawing 
on stockings, and hurriedly trying to fasten on their rags. 
No sponge has ever touched the window-panes, nor a 
broom the stairs ; they are fairly impregnated with human 
filth; it oozes out; and a sour putrescent odour greets the 
nostrils. Many of the windows seem to be crumbling, 
and disjointed steps cling around leprous walls. In the 
cross streets, strewed with mire, orange-peel and garbage, 
a few shops lower than the pavement expose yawning 
apertures with various phantoms moving about in them ; 
a butcher displaying bloody meat and quarters of veal on 
his stall ; a fruiterer looking like a ferocious bravo ; a big, 
dirty, brazen-faced monk, with his hands on his paunch, 
laughing vociferously ; a tinker nobly draped, and as grav# 


and proud as a prince, besides various expressive figures 
standing about, many of them handsome, almost all ener- 
getic and gesticulating like actors, often with a sort of 
comic gaiety and extreme readiness in assuming gro- 
tesque attitudes. The French on board our vessel, some 
twenty young soldiers, are much more amiable-looking 
and less demonstrative, they being of a less vigorous and 
finer race. 

Here lived poor Stendhal for so long a period, ever 
with his eyes turned towards Paris. ' It is my misfor- 
tune,' he wrote, 6 to find nothing here to excite thought. 
What diversion can I find among five thousand Civita 
Vecchia traders ! There is nothing poetic here but the 
twelve hundred convicts, whom I cannot possibly take 
into my society.* The women have but one idea, which 
is to get their husbands, if possible, to present them with 
a French bonnet.' A friend of Stendhal, an archaeolo- 
gist, who under this title passed for a Liberal, for twenty 
years has been unable to obtain permission to stay three 
hours at Rome. 

Here and there, in the streets and squares, southern 
life is visible. Tinkers and travelling shoemakers are at 
work in the open air. Barefooted little scamps, with 
begrimed mouths, are playing cards in crazy carts. At 
the angle of a foul alley, under a lamp, sits a Madonna, 
in the midst of wax-candles, flowers, crowns, and painted 
hearts, smiling under a glass case, and honoured with the 
sign of the cross by all who pass her. Two fishermen 
arrive with three baskets, and improvise a market, when 
immediately twenty curious figures assemble around them 
as if at a spectacle, all smoking and gesticulating, while 
a threadbare class carry off fish in their handkerchiefs. 
A number of ragged vagabonds, and tall wags draped in 

* The Koman State prison for criminals, the bagnio, is situated at Civita 


brown ana black mantles, hang about the streef>corners> 
inhaling the steam of frying-pans, and contemplating the 
sea. Certainly for the last ten years they must have slept 
on the ground in their clothes — imagine their tint, while 
their toes project outside their worn-out shoes. Their 
pantaloons have evidently passed through five or si* 
colours, from light to dark, from grey to black, from black 
to brown, and from brown to yellow ; and so full of holes 
md so often patched are they, one would scarcely 
know where to find a more composite object. They, 
however, are indifferent. They saunter about philosophi- 
cally, like sages and epicureans, living as they best can, 
feeding their senses on beautiful objects, and diverting 
themselves with idle conversation, leaving all work to 
blockheads* At the landing-place an hour and a half 
was consumed iu registering twenty-five trunks ; out of 
six men employed, two worked, while the rest looked on 
and talked. It was necessary to make a show of anger, 
in order to expedite matters. There was no order what- 
ever. A trunk passed quickly through their hands pro- 
portionately to the rude tone of voice in which the owner 
pronounced bestid. The more bountiful and beautiful 
Nature is the less is man compelled to be active and neat. 
A Hollander, or a peasant of the Black Forest, would 
feel miserable in a house not clean and agreeable to him ; 
here labour and tidiness are superfluous, Nature taking it 
upon herself to provide both comfort and beauty. 

From Civita Vecchia to Rome. — We pass along the 
borders of the sea, stretching away, smooth and of a deep 
blue, into illimitable space, and with a feeble monotonous 
murmur; to the right, for leagues ahead, an unbroken 
line of foam forms a broad white fringe on the sand. The 
same great veil of mist still overhangs the Campagna. 

To the left, hills rise and fall and succeed each 
other, covered with delicate tints of faded green, as if 


softened with a brush. There are no trees on them thai 
could be called such, but shrubs like the broom, juniper 
mastic, gorze, and other evergreens. All this is a desert* 
scarcely during the entire journey do we see more than an 
occasional farmhouse at long intervals by the side of a 
hollow. Streams descend in tortuous beds, and discharge 
themselves in pools, which, repelled by the sea, render 
the country unhealthy and hostile to man. A few horses 
and some black long-horned cattle graze on the slopes : 
one might imagine himself on the landes of Gascony. 
From time to time a wood of tall, grey, denuded trees 
appears by the side of the cars as melancholy-looking as 
so many invalids. 

Here at last is the Campagna of Rome, consisting of 
bare hills, without trees or shrubs, and a waste of decayed 
and sun-burnt vegetation ; no aqueducts yet — nothing to 
break up the lugubrious monotony. Now we come to 
gardens, and hedges of blackthorn tied together with 
large white reeds, vegetable plots, domes on the horizon, 
an old brick rampart and blackened bastions, then a long 
aqueduct like an immense wall, and Santa Maria Mag- 
giore with its two domes and campanile. At the station 
is a crowd of cab-drivers, guides, and conductors, hooting 
and appropriating to themselves your baggage and person 
by main force ; also a moving throng of anomalous faces 
— English, American, German, French, and Russian — 
crowding and pushing each other, and obtaining informa- 
tion in all sorts of accents and dialects. On the way to 
the hotel, things look as they do in a provincial town — 
neglected, irregular, odd, and dirty, with narrow, muddy 
streets lined with rickety tenements and attics, greasy 
cooking going on in the open air, clothes drying on ropes, 
lofty monumental edifices with trellised windows and 
Irige gratings and crossbars bolted together and multi- 
plied, giving one an idea of prisons and fortresses. 



Having one day in Rome, I determined to see tire 
Colosseum and St. Peter's. It is certainly unwise to 
note our first impressions, but since we have them, why 
not do so? A traveller should regard himself as a ther- 
mometer, and, right or wrong, I shall do to-morrow as 1 
do to-day. 

First, as to the Colosseum. All that I saw from my 
cab windows was repulsive — infected streets, wet and 
dry linen suspended on ropes, old oozing tenements 
blackened and disfigured with slimy secretions, heaps of 
offal, shops and tattered costumes; and all this in a 
drizzling rain. The ruins, the churches, the palaces, 
visible on the way, the entire accumulations of antiquity, 
seemed to me like an embroidered coat made two cen- 
turies ago, but nevertheless two hundred years old ; that 
is to say, tarnished, faded, full of holes, and infested with 
human vermin. 

The Colosseum appears, and there is a sudden reviil* 
sion, a veritable shock ; it is grand — nothing grander 
could be imagined. The interior is quite deserted ; 
profound silence reigns : nothing but masses of stone, 
pendant vines, and from time to time the cry of a bird. 
One is content to remain silent and motionless. The eye 

uiders repeatedly over the three vaulted stories, and 


the enormous wall projecting above them. This then, 
you say to yourself, was a circus ; on these graded seats 
sat a hundred and seven thousand spectators, yelling, 
applauding, and threatening simultaneously; five thou- 
sand animals were slain, and ten thousand combatants 
contended in this arena. You gather from this some 
idea of Roman life. 

All this provokes hatred of the Romans. No peopl 
have more abused man ; of all the European races none 
have been so destructive : only in oriental countries do we 
find similar despots and devastators. Here was a mon- 
strous city, as extensive as London now is, deriving its 
pleasure from spectacles of murder and suffering; for 
one hundred days, three consecutive months and more, 
the people resorted here daily to delight in pain and death. 
The distinctive trait of Roman life, first a triumph and 
next the arena, is here revealed. They had conquered 
a hundred nations, and found it natural to turn their 
victims to account. 

Such a regimen necessarily developed an extraordi- 
nary state of things, physical and mental. There was 
no labour: the people were supported by public distri- 
butions; they lived in indolence, promenaded a city oi 
marble, were shampooed in baths, gazed on mimes and 
actors, and for amusement flocked to the contemplation 
of wounds and death. This was their excitement, and 
they devoted days to it. St. Augustine experienced the 
terrible attraction, and has described it ; everything con- 
trasted with it seemed insipid ; people could not tea* 
themselves away from it. After a certain time humanity, 
through these compound habits of artists and executioners, 
lost its equilibrium ; extraordinary monsters were deve- 
loped, and not merely sanguinary brutes and cool assas- 
sins, as in the middle ages, but refined amateurs, dilettanti, 
\q Caligula, Commodus, and Nero; morbid inventors, 


ferocious poets, who, instead of writing out or painting 
their phantasies, practised them. Many artists in modern 
times resemble these, but fortunately they confine them- 
selves to the blackening of paper. Then, as now, extreme 
civilisation produced extreme tension and insatiable de- 
sires* The first four centuries after Christ may be re- 
garded as experience on a grand scale, in which the mind 
systematically sought excessive sensation. Everything 
below that was wearisome. 

When the gladiator from the centre of the arena looked 
around at the hundred thousand faces, and saw the upturned 
thumbs demanding his death, what a sensation ! It was 
annihilation, without pity or reprieve. The antique world 
here reaches its culminating point, the uncontested, un- 
punished, irremediable rule of force. As these spectacles 
abounded throughout the Roman empire, it is intelligible 
how the universe with such machinery became a blank. 
Hence, and by contrast, the existence of Christianity. 

One turns and looks again. The beauty of the edifice 
consists in its simplicity. Its continuous line of arches 
forms the most natural and the firmest of props. The 
edifice is self-supporting, immovable ; how much superior 
to a Gothic cathedral, with its flying buttresses like the 
claws of a crab ! The Roman was satisfied with his idea, 
and did not require to adorn it ; an amphitheatre for a 
hundred thousand men and enduring indefinitely was 
enough. Here, as in his inscriptions and despatches, he 
suppresses all pomposity.* The fact proclaims itself 
loudly, and is understood by him alone. In this con- 
sists his grandeur ; it is actions and not words — a sort of 
haughty calm self-confidence, a serene pride in, and con- 
sciousness of, being able to do and to bear more than 
other men. 

* Sve the reply of the Senate to the King of Illyria, after the victory of 
Pydna (Livy). 


The Romans, however, have always lacked a sentiment 
of justice and humanity, and not alone in antiquity, but 
also in the Renaissance, and in the middle ages. They 
have always comprehended country after the manner 
of the ancients, namely, as a compact league, useful 
in oppressing others, and in turning them to profit* 
Moreover, in the middle ages, their country was nothing 
but an arena, in which the strong, through craft and vio- 
lence, sought to enslave the rest. A certain cardinal, on 
passing from Italy into France, remarked that if Chris- 
tianity was to be known by evidences of kindness, cour- 
tesy, and confidence, the Italians were not one half as 
Christian as the French. This same objection always 
arises in my own mind on reading Stendhal, their great 
admirer, and whom I so greatly admire. You laud their 
energy, their good sense, their genius ; you agree with 
Alfieri that the plant man is born more vigorous in Italy 
than elsewhere ; you go no further ; it seems as if this was 
a complete eulogy, and that nothing more desirable for a 
race could be imagined. This is isolating man as artists 
and naturalists do in order to contemplate a fine, power- 
ful, redoubtable animal, and a bold, expressive attitude. 
The complete man, however, is man in society, and who 
developes himself therein ; hence the superior race is that 
disposed to social intercourse and to progress. In this 
view gentleness, social instincts, the chivalrous sentiment 
of honour, phlegmatic good sense, and rigid, puritanical 
self-consciousness are precious gifts, and perhaps the 
most precious of all. These are the qualities which, 
beyond the Alps, have formed societies and an order of 
development; it is the lack of these qualities which, 
on this side of the Alps> has prevented the consolidation 
of societies, and hindered development. A certain instinct 
of willing subordination is an advantage in a nation, and, 
at the same time a defect in an individual; and perhajxi 


it is this power of the individual which has here closed 
the avenue to nationality. 

In the centre of the arena is a cross. A man in a blue 
coat, a demi-bourgeois. approaches it in the midst of the 
silence, removes his bat, folds his green umbrella, and 
devotedly imprints several fervent kisses on it. Each 
kiss is attended with a hundred days' indulgence. 

The sky was now getting clear. Through the arcades 
you might see green slopes, lofty ruins decked with shrub- 
bery, shafts of columns, trees, heaps of rubbish, a field 
of tall white reeds, the Arch of Constantine placed 
obliquely — all forming a singular combination of cultiva- 
tion and neglect. One encounters this everywhere in 
traversing Rome — remains of monuments, pieces of gar- 
dens, messes of potatoes frying at the bases of antique 
columns, near the bridge of Horatius Cocle3 the odour 
of old codfish, and on the flanks of a palace, three cob- 
blers plying their awls, or perhaps a bed of artichokes. 

One loiters along, leisurely and indifferently. I have 
no cicerone — a way to see nothing and be deafened. I 
ask my way of a respectable-looking man, who is very 
obliging, and enters into conversation with me. He has 
been to Paris, and admires the Place de la Concorde and 
the Arc de l'Etoile, and has visited Mabille, of which 
his souvenirs are very profound. Photographs of the 
illustrious dancers and lorettes of Paris abound in the shop- 
windows. I find that these ladies everywhere in foreign 
lands constitute our principal reputation. 'Ah, how 
pleasant France is, and how delightful to promenade the 
Boulevart MontmartreP 

The sky had now become perfectly clear, the atmo- 
sphere warm, and the ground dry. From the cafe in 
which I breakfasted (I have forgotten where), I could ob- 
serve about forty droll characters seated on the side-walk, 
or leaning against the angles of the houses, doing nothing. 


some smoking, and others strolling up and down, and 
exchanging comments on the weather, and on passers-by. 
Three or four, with their bare knees shining through their 
rags, as dirty as old brooms, lay flat on the stones against 
a wall, sleeping. Haifa dozen, the most active, were 
playing morra, opening and shutting the hand, and voci- 
ferously calling the number of fingers closed or extended 
Most of them sat silent and motionless. Seated in a row 
on the edge of the kerbstone, with their hands supporting 
their chins, and their blankets drawn about their thighs, 
they seemed content to be comfortably warm and ask no 
more. Some, the voluptuaries, were chewing lupines, 
ai*d, save the masticating motion of their jaws, remained 
an hour and more without moving a muscle. 

Throughout the entire length of the street the windows 
are open, and women and young girls show themselves on 
the balconies, and take the air. You cannot imagine a 
more curious contrast than these usually handsome crea- 
tures, with vigorous expressive heads, dark lustrous hair 
carefully gathered above the temples, brilliant eyes, 
ruddy, glowing, healthy complexions, clean clothes, gilded 
comb, chains and trinkets, and all framed in by the wall 
of a hovel. Its plaster is cracked, and broken, and spat- 
tered w r ith mud, w T hich also runs black along the entire 
Btreet. If you approach it, you find a low entrance, its 
unfastened bars dripping with cobwebs, and a stairway 
winding around like the gallery of a coal-pit ; and in the 
interior all kinds of domestic disorder — piles of clothes, 
earthenware pots, and children scattered about with nothing 
on them but shirts. These women are by no means dis- 
reputable, but all they care for is to dress and pass away the 
afternoon on their balconies like peacocks on their perches. 

At the end of a long street, the church of St. Peter 
discloses itself. Nothing can be more truly and substan- 
tially beautiful than this grand piazza. Our Louvre and 


Flace de la Concorde, compared with it, are simply 
operatic decorations, The piazza rises upward from the 
bottom, and is thus embraced in a single glance. Two 
superb colonnades enclose its space within their cres- 
cent curves, and in the centre is an obelisk, on either 
side of which two fountains, discharging their feathery 
spray, people its vastness. Some black specks — men 
seated, visitors ascending, and a file of monks- — dot the 
whiteness of the steps, while on the summit of all, elevated 
upon a mass of columns, pediments, and statues, rears the 
gigantic dome. 

Whatever could be done to conceal this dome has been 
done. Looking at it a second time, it is clear that the 
fa9ade overwhelms it. The fa£ade is that of a pompous 
hdtcl~de-ville, the construction of a period of decadence. 
Its forms are so complicated, its columns so multiplied, 
bo many statues have been lavished upon it, and so many 
stones heaped up, that beauty has disappeared beneath 
the accumulation. You enter the interior, and the im- 
pression is the same. Two words rise to the lips- 
grand and theatrical. There is power in all this, but it 
is overdone. There is too much gilding and sculpture, 
too many precious marbles, bronzes, ornaments, panels, 
and medallions. In my opinion, every work of architec- 
ture, as well as every other work, should be like a cry ; "* 
in other words, a sincere expression, the extremity and 
complement of a sensation, and nothing more. For 
example, take this or that Titian or Veronese painted pur- 
posely to occupy the eye with voluptuousness or magni- 
ficence during some gay festival or official ceremony; or 
again, the interior of a fine Gothic cathedral like that ot 
Strasburg, with its enormous dark nave traversed with 
gloomy purple, its silent files of columns, its sepulchral 
crypt lost in shadow, and its luminous rose windows* 
* See the author's * Philosophy of Art/ p. 69. 


which, amidst all these Christian terrors, seem to afford 
glimpses into paradise. 

On the ccntrary, there is no simple, pure emotion in 
thia church. It is a composition like our Louvre. Its 
projectors said, ' Let us erect the most magnificent and 
imposing structure possible.' Bramante selected the vast 
vaults of Constantine's palace, and Michael Angelo the 
dome of the Pantheon, and out of two pagan concep- 
tions, one amplified by the other, they extracted a Chris- 
tian temple. 

These arches, that cupola, and those mighty piers, all 
this splendid attire is grand and magnificent. Neverthe- 
less there are but two orders of architecture — the Greek 
and the Gothic ; the rest are simply transformations, dis- 
figurements, or amplifications of these. 

The builders of St. Peter's w r ere simply pagans in 
fear of damnation, and nothing more. All that is sublime 
in religion, such as tender eifusions in the presence of a 
compassionate Saviour, the fear of conscience before a 
just judge, the strong lyric enthusiasm of the Hebrew 
before an avenging God, the expansiveness of a free 
Greek genius before natural and joyous beauty — all 
these sentiments were wanting in them. They fasted 
on Friday, and combed the hair of a saint to obtain his 
good offices. As a recompense to Michael Angelo, the 
Pope granted him I know not how many indulgences 
on condition that he made the tour of the seven basilicas 
of Rome on horseback. Their passions were strong, and 
their energy unfaltering, and they became great because 
they sprung out of a great epoch, but a true religicua 
sentiment they did not possess. They revived ancient 
paganism; but a second growth is never of the same 
value as the first. Petty superstition and narrow devo* 
tional habits &oon arose to deform and render lifeless a 
primitive powerful inspiration. We have only to study 


the interior decoration of this church in order to see tc 
what vices they inclined. Bernini has infested it with 
mannered statues, who caper and give themselves airs. 
All these sculptured giants kicking about with half- 
modern faces and drapery pretending to be antique, pro- 
duce the most pitiable effect. You say to yourself on 
seeing that procession of celestial porters, c A fine arm, 
well poised ! My brave monk, you stretch out your leg 
vigorously ! My good woman, your robe floats very pro- 
perly ; be quite easy ! My little cherubs, you fly as 
briskly as if on a swing ! Ely worthy friends, especially 
yourselves, bronze cardinals, and you, symbolical virtues, 
you are as clever in your posturings as so many 
figurants ! * 

I am to visit Rome again. Perhaps to-day I am 
unjust. But for any sincere sentiment here I am sure it 
is wanting. The rows of sentimental figures by Bernini 
on the bridge of St. Angelo put me out of humour. They 
assume to express a tender, coquettish air, and wriggle 
about in Greek or Roman drapery as if in an eighteenth 
century petticoat. None of these works are consistent ; 
three or four different sentiments in them struggle for 
mastery. Let the subject be a fasting, self-flagellating 
ascetic, and he is assigned a shape, vestments, and sym- 
bolry indicative of attachment to this life. To me nothing 
is more disagreeable than thorns, haircloth, and ecstatic 
eyes bestowed on a lusty young man or a healthy young 
woman really incapable of thinking of anything else but 
love. It is impossible here to feel any of the tenderness, 
any of the terrors, associated with a Gothic cathedral and 
a Christian life ; the churches are too richly gilded and too 
bright, and the arches and pillars are too fine. It is im- 
possible to find here that freshness of simple sensation, 
that joyousness and serenity, that smile of eternal youth- 
ful ness which radiates from an antique temple and froiu 


Greek life. Crosses, images of martyrs, gold skeletons., 
and otter similar objects, form too many emblems of 
mystification and mystic renunciation. It is, in fine, 
an immense spectacle hall, the most magnificent in the 
world, through which a grand institution proclaims its 
power to all eyes. It is not a temple of a religion, but 
the temple of a cult. 

A Night Promenade. — The streets are almost deserted,, 
and the scene is imposing — tragic, like the drawings of 
Piranesi. Few lights are visible, only so many as are 
necessary to reveal grand forms and to intensify the dark- 
ness. All noxious odours, dirt, and corruption have dis- 
appeared. The moon shines in a cloudless sky, and the 
bracing air, silence, and the sensation of the unknown, 
excite and startle one. 

How grand ! is the constantly recurring idea. There 
is nothing mean, commonplace, or vapid ; there is no 
street or edifice that has not character, some strong marked 
character. No uniform compressive law has here inter- 
posed to level and discipline structures ; each has arisen 
according to its own fancy without concern for the rest, 
and the confusion is admirable, like the studio of a great 

Antonine's column rears its shaft in the clear night air, 
and around it are solid palaces resting firmly on their 
foundations, and without clumsiness. That in the back 
ground, with its twenty illuminated arcades, and its two 
broad brilliant circular openings, resembles an arabesque 
of light, or some strange fancy creation blazing in the 

The fountain of the Piazza Navona flows magnificently 
in the stillness, its jetting waters sending forth myriads 
of the moon's bright beams. Under this vacillating light, 
amidst this incessant commotion, its colossal stat lies seem 
alive : their theatrical appearance is effaced ; one sees only 



giants writhing and leaping in the midst of sparks and 
glittering bubbles. 

Window cornices, vast projecting balconies, and the 
sculptured edges of the roofs cut the walls with powerful 
shadows. Doleful streets, right and left, open like yawn- 
ing caverns : here and there rises a black w r all of some 
apparently abandoned convent or tall edifice surmounted 
by a tower, seeming to be a remnant of ihe middle ages; 
lights glimmer feebly in the distance, and life seems to be 
swallowed up in the increasing obscurity. 

Nothing is so formidable as these enormous monasteries 
and huge square palaces in which no light is gleaming, 
and which rise up isolated in their inattackable massive- 
ness like fortresses in a besieged town. Flat roofs, ter- 
races, pediments, and other rigid and complicated forms, 
cut the clear sky with their sharp angles, whilst below, at 
their feet, the indistinct gates, posts, and buttresses crouch 
together in the shadows. 

One advances and all appearances of life vanish. One 
might imagine himself in a dead deserted city, the skele- 
ton remains of a great nation suddenly annihilated. You 
pass under the arcades of the Colonna palace, along its 
mute garden walls, and no longer see or hear anything 
human ; only at long intervals, in the depths of some 
tortuous street, within the vague blackness of a porch 
geemug to be a subterranean outlet, is a dying street- 
lamp flickering amidst a circle of yellow light These 
closed houses and high walls, extending their inhospi- 
table lines in the gloom, appear like ranges of reefs on the 
sea coast, and, on emerging from their shadow, the broad 
spaces that present themselves, whitened with moonlight, 
geem like strands of desolate sand. 

At length you reach the basilica of Constantine and its 
huge arcades with their head-dress of pendent vines. The 
eye follows their majestic sweep, and then suddenly, be- 


tween the openings above, rests on the pale blue, the 
peculiar azure of night, like a panel of crystal incrusted 
with sparks. Advancing a few steps, the divine cupola 
of the sky, the serene transparent ether with its myriads 
of flashing brilliants, discloses itself above the lonely 
Forum. You pass by the side of prostrate columns, their 
monstrous shafts seemingly magnified. Leaning against 
one of these breast high, you contemplate the Colosseum. 
The side wall, still remaining entire, rises black and 
colossal at a single bound ; it seems to incline over and 
about to fall. The moonlight, so bright on the ruined 
portion, allows you to distinguish the reddish hue of the 
stones. In this limpid atmosphere the roundness of the 
amphitheatre grows on you ; it forms a sort of complete 
and formidable being. In this wonderful stillness it 
might be said to exist alone, and that man, and plants, and 
all this fleeting world, is but a seeming show. I have 
often experienced the same sensation among mountains. 
They also seem to be the veritable inhabitants of the 
earth ; in their company the human hive is forgotten, and 
under the sky, which is their tent, one imagines himself 
listening to the speechless communion of the old monsters, 
the world's immutable possessors and eternal rulers. 

Returning along the base of the Capitol, the distant 
basilicas and triumphal arches, and especially the noble 
and elegant columns of ruined temples, some solitary and 
others collected in fraternal groups^ also seem to be alive. 
These, likewise, are placid existences, and simple and 
beautiful like the Greek ephebos. Their Ionian heads 
bear an ornamental bandlet, and the moon sheds its rays 
on their polished shafts. 

From Rome to Naples. — A long aqueduct appears on 
the right ; afar on the horizon is a ruin, and here and 
there isolated crumbling arches ; the illimitable dingy 
green plain extends on all sides, undulating with a faded 


carpet of dead vegetation, washed by the rains, and scat 
tered by the winds. Purplish grey clouds hang heavily 
overhead, and the locomotive discharges its rolling waves 
of steam to commingle with them. The monotonous 
aqueduct appears and disappears mile after mile like a 
dyke of rocks in a sea of moving grass. Towards the 
east dark mountains bristle, half-covered with snow, 
while towards the west is a cultivated surface covered 
with the small tops and innumerable delicate stems of 
denuded fruit trees; a yellow brook washes its way, 
undermining the ground as it passes. 

All tins is melancholy, and still more so the stations, 
consisting of miserable wooden cabins in which a few 
faggots are kindled for the comfort of the passengers, 
Beggars and little boys throng the entrances, imploring 
a baiocco a demi-baiocco, a poor little demi-bair ceo for 
the love of God, the Madonna, and St. Joseph, and all 
other saints in the calendar, with the persistence and 
shrillness, the tender impatient whining which dogs 
after a week of starvation display on first getting 
sight of a bone. It is difficult to decide what it is they 
wear on their feet; sandals they certainly are not, and 
still less shoes ; they look like wrappings of cloths or old 
scraps picked out of the puddles, and which splash along 
with them in the mud. A bent, broad-brimmed, shape- 
lees hat, and breeches, and cloak are indescribable ; 
nothing resembles these but kitchen towels and infected 
rags piled up in junk-shops to make paper with. 

I have studied a good many countenances, and my 
memory dwells on those I have seen since I came intc 
Italy. All these range themselves under three or four 
distinct types. First there is the pretty and delicate cameo 
head, perfectly regular and spirituelle, with a lively alert 
air, betokening a capacity to comprehend readily, and to 
inspire love as well as to express it. There is, also, tie 


square head, planted on a solid trunk, with, large sensual 
lips, and an expression of coarse gaiety, either grotesque 
or satiric. There is the lean, dark, sunburnt animal, 
whose face has no longer any flesh on it, wholly con- 
sisting of strong features, of an incredible expression, 
with flaming eyes and crisp hair, similar to a volcano 
about to explode. There is, finally, the handsome and 
stout man, vigorously built and muscular without clum- 
siness, of a rich glowing complexion, who regards you 
calmly and fixedly, powerful and complete, who seems 
to await action and self-expansion, but who, in waiting, 
is not prodigal of himself, and remains passive. 

This road and landscape, all the way to Naples, are 
certainly beautiful, but under a clear sky and in sum- 
mer. There are many fine, varied, half-wooded moun- 
tains, not high, and yet grand ; sometimes a grey tower 
appears, covering a hilltop, and as round as a bee-hive. 
But forms are all confused by rain and fog, and winter 
spoils everything ; there is nothing green ; red dry 
leaves hang to the trees like old rags, and muddy tor- 
rents furrow the ground. It is a corpse instead of a 
beautiful, blooming girl. 





Naples: February 20. — Another elimate, another sky, 
almost another world. On approaching the bay tins 
morning, as the view expanded and the horizon disclosed 

itself, a sudden brightness and splendour was all that was 

visible. In the distance, under a vapoury veil over* 

hanging the sen, the mountains arose one above another, 
and sprealout as luminous and as soft as clouds. The 
nea, advanced in white rolling billows, and the sun, 

pouring down its flaming rays, converted it into a track- 
way of molten metal 

I passed hall* an hour in the Villa Reale, a promenade 
skirting the shore, planted with oaks and evergreens. A 
few young trees, transpierced with light, open their tender 

little leaves, and are already blooming with yellow blos- 
soms Statues of beautiful nude youths Europa on the 
Bull- incline their white marble forms amidst the light 

green verdure. Sunshine and shadow vary the surface of 
the grass, and climbing vines interlace themselves around 
the columns. Here and there glows the bright blue of 
fresh flowers, their delicate velvety cups trembling in the 


balmy breeze that comes to them through the trunks of 
the oaks. Both sea and atmosphere are beneficent. 
What a contrast, when one recalls the ocean and its 
coasts, our cliffs of Gascony and Normandy beaten by 
winds and lashed by storms, with stunted trees sheltering 
themselves in the hollows, and bushes and the shorn grass 
clinging so miserably to the hillsides ! 

Here vegetation is nourished by the neighbouring 
waves; you feel the freshness and mildness of the atmo- 
sphere which caresses and expands it. You forget 
yourself as you listen to the murmur of the whispering 
leaves and contemplate their moving shadows on the 
sand. Meanwhile, a few paces off, the sea sends forth 
its deep roar, as its foaming crests break on the beach, 
and subside in snowy circles. The mist vanishes before 
the sun; through the foliage appears Vesuvius and its 
neighbours, the entire mountain range in clear relief, and 
of a pale violet hue, which, as the sun declines, becomes 
tenderer and tenderer, until, finally, the lightest tint of 
mauve, or the corolla of a flower, is less exquisite. The 
sky is now serene, and the calm sea becomes a sea of azure. 

It is impossible to describe this scene. Lord Byron 
rightly says that the beauties of art and nature are not to 
be placed on the same level. A picture is always less, 
and a landscape always more,, than our imagination painta 
it. How beautiful ! — what more can be said ? How grand, 
how lovely ! the heart and the senses thrill with pleasure : 
nothing could be more voluptuous, nothing nobler. How 
can one toil and produce in the presence of all this beauty ? 
It is of no avail to possess fine residences, and to labo- 
riously fashion our vast machines called Constitution or 
Church, and to seek pleasure in vanity and ostentation. 
Let us open our eyes and live, for we have the flower of 
life in a glance ! 

I eat down on a bench. Evening was coming on, and 


is watching the fading tints it seemed as if I were in the 
Elysian fields of the ancient poets. Elegant forms of 
trees defined themselves clearly on the transparent azure. 
Leafless sycamores and naked oaks seemed to be smiling, 
the exquisite serenity of the sky, crossed with their web 
of light branches, apparently communicating itself to 
them. They did not appear to be dead or torpid as with 
U3, but seemed to be dozing, and, at the touch of the balmy 
breeze, ready to open their buds and confide their blossoms 
to the coming spring. Here and there shone a glimmer- 
ing star, and the moon began to diffuse its white light. 
Statues still whiter seemed in this mysterious gloom to be 
alive ; groups of young maidens, in light flowing robes, 
advanced noiselessly, like beautiful spirits of gladness. 
I seemed to be gazing on ancient Greek life, to compre- 
hend the delicacy of their sensations, to find a never- 
ending study in the harmony of these slender forms and 
faded tints; colour and luminousness no longer seemed 
requisite. I was listening to the verses of Aristo- 
phanes, and beheld his youthful athlete with crowned 
brow, chaste and beautiful, walking pleasantly with a 
sage companion of his own years amongst poplars and 
the flowering smilax. Naples is a Greek colony, and the 
more one sees the more one recognises that the taste 
and the mind of a people assume the characteristics of 
its landscape and of its climate. 

Towards eight o'clock the breeze had died away. The 
firmament seemed to be of lapis-lazuli ; the moon, like an 
immaculate queen shining alone in the azure, shed her 
silvery beams on the broad waters and converted them 
into a glittering milky way. No words can express the 
grace and sweetness of the mountains enveloped in their 
last tint, the vague violet of the nocturnal robe. The 
mole and a forest of masts with their deep dark reflections 
rendered them still more charming, while the Chiaja on 


the right sweeping around the gulf, together with its 
rows of illuminated houses, gave them a garland of 

Lamps glimmer on all sides. The people are laughing, 
chatting, and eating in the open air. The sky itself is a 

Through the Streets. — What streets one passes through ! 
Steep, narrow, dirty, and bordered at every story with 
overhanging balconies; a mass of petty shops, open 
stalls, men and women buying, selling, gossiping, gesticu- 
lating, and elbowing each other ; most of them dwarfed 
and ugly, the women especially being small and flat- 
nosed, their faces sallow and eyes brilliant, and slovenly 
attired in fancy shawls, red, violet, and orange neck hand- 
kerchiefs—the most staring colours possible — and mock 
jewelry. In the vicinity of the Piazza del Mercato winds 
a labyrinth of paved tortuous lanes buried in dust and 
strewn with orange-peel, melon-rinds, fragments of vege- 
tables, and other nameless refuse ; the crowd herd to- 
gether here, black and crawling, in the palpable shadow, 
beneath a strip of blue sky. All is bustling, eating, 
drinking, and bad odours ; it reminds one of rats in a 
rat-trap. It is the same bad air and disorder, and the 
same abandonment that one encounters in the bye-streets 
of London. Fortunately, the climate is favourable to 
pig-styes and rags. 

Occasionally rising out of these dens is the huge angle 
or lofty gateway of some ancient edifice, through the 
openings of which you see wide staircases and balustrades 
ascending and intersecting each other, along with terraces 
and colonnades, exhibiting the remains of the grandeur of 
private life under the Spanish dominion. Here dwelt the 
great nobles and their gentlemen retainers, with their 
armed domestics and their carriages, soliciting pensions, 
giving fetes, and attending ceremonies, they alon'i con- 


spicuous and of importance ; whilst in the surrounding 
lanes the canaille of traders and artisans gazed on their 
sumptuous parade as pitiful and disdained as formerly 
were the troops of serfs tolerated around the feud<u 

Crowds of monks trot about the muddy streets, in san« 
dais or shoes, and without stockings. Many of these look 
waggish and quizzical, something of a cross between 
Socrates and Punch. They have evidently sprung from the 
populace. They flounder along in their threadbare garbs 
with the jaunty air of a common coachman. One of them 
resting his elbows on a balcony to look at us, is a strap- 
ping cunning old fellow, such as Rabelais paints, display- 
ing his flesh and importance somewhat like a curious 
distrustful hog. In better streets, again, you encounter 
a better class of ecclesiastics ; the trim young abbes clad 
in black, and as orderly as if just out of a bandbox, and 
with an intelligent and diplomatic or reserved expres- 
sion. High and low, the palace and the hovel, are both 
supplied with them ! 

We enter five or six churches on our way. The 
statues of the Virgin here are painted like barbers' 
models, besides being dressed in the habiliments of ladies ; 
one wears an expansive rose-coloured frock, blue ribbons, a 
tasteful coiffure, and six swords in her breast. The infant 
Jesus and the saints are also attired in modern fashion ; 
some of the latter wear actual cowls, and others ex- 
hibit their corpse-like skins and bloody stigmata. It ia 
impossible to appeal to the eye and the senses mere 
grossly. * An old woman is on her knees moaning before 

* ■ A friend describes a Madonna he saw in Sicily : they had plated hei 
breast with a great cx-voto of silver, representing the part of the body cured 
through her intercession. The patient had had hemorrhoids. At Messina, 
on the 15th August, they carry through the streets, in honour of the Virgin, 
% machine composed of revolving hoops, in which little children, figuring as 
angels, are attached, and in which they turn about during seven hours, tht 


the Virgin. Thus bedizened and bleeding, the Madonna 
is as real to her as any widowed princess ; they address 
her with similar respect, and weep in order to obtain her 

Santa Maria della Pietra, Santa Chiara, and San 
Gtnnaro. — The first of these churches is a brilliant 
bon-bon box. You are here shown a veiled statue of 
Modesty in marble ; but the veil is so thin and adhesive, ' 
so well disposed about the neck and forms of the body, 
that she appears more than naked. In the depths of a 
crypt is a dead Christ wrapped in a shroud. The cus- 
todian produces a candle, and by its dim light and in this 
cold damp atmosphere your eyes and senses, the whole 
nervous system, is as much shocked as if brought in con- 
tact with a corpse. Such are the sensational achieve- 
ments of superstition and sculpture ; artistic vanity is 
gratified, they amuse the epicurean, and make the devout 
shudder. I will not dwell on the richness of the paint- 
ings, on the lavish display of ornament, on the pretentious 
decoration, all of which is more conspicuous in Santa 
Chiara, in the enormous silver vines that encumber the 
altar, in the numberless bronze and gilded balustrades 
and little golden balls and tufts and garlanded tapers, 
and overloaded altars, similar to those that little girls 
arrange and deck for the Fete-Dieu. Numerous churches 
whose names I have forgotten are all bedizened with this 
finery. This pagan Catholicism is offensive ; sensuality 
can always be detected under the mantle of asceticism. 
Skulls, hour-glasses, and mystic invocations present in- 
congruities alongside of gilding, precious marbles, and 
Grecian capitals. There is no Christianity about it, 

greater number being taken out dead or dying. Their mothers console 
themselves by saying that the Virgin has taken their little angel into 
Paradise.' (« Mysteries of the Convents of Naples,' p. 39, by Enriehetta 
Caracciolo, ex-Benedictine.) 


except its superstition and fear. Here particularly is an 
absence of grandeur and a reign of affectation. A church 
is simply a magazine of pretty things. In strh ing to 
ascertain the sentiment of the people for whom all this 
was built, I find only a desire to enjoy fresh air in a 
jeweller's shop, or at best a notion that in giving large 
sums of money to a saint he will preserve one from fever ; 
it is a casino for the use of fancy -fed brains. In respect 
to its architects and painters they were declaimers, who, 
through imitations to deceive the eye, and vast arches 
with curious span, aimed to reanimate a worn-out atten- 
tion. All this indicates a degenerate epoch, the ex- 
tinction of genuine feeling, the turgidity of a toiling, 
exhausted art, the pernicious effects of a perverted civili- 
sation and foreign dominion. Still, amidst this decadence, 
there are occasional portions instinct with the old vigorous 
genius. For example, at San Gennaro some powerful 
figures painted by Vasari over the entrances, and ceilings 
by Santa-Fede and Forti, containing many proud and 
spirited groups and figures, along with some tombs and 
a large nave with rows of medallions of archbishops, and 
the lofty spring of which and gilded background en 
coquille display the majesty and importance of genuine 

The Convent of San Martino. — To this we ascend by 
narrow, dirty, and densely-populated streets. I cannot 
accustom myself to these tattered, chattering, gesticula- 
ting characters. The women are not handsome ; on the 
contrary, their complexion is sallow, even among the 
young. Besides this, their flat noses spoil their laces. 
Altogether you have a lively and occasionally a piquant 
countenance, sufficiently resembling the pleasing but ir- 
i egular features of the women of the eighteenth century, 
but very far removed from the beauty of the Greeks 
which has been assigned to them. 


We mount up higher and higher, always ascending; 
<one set of steps after another, and no end to them, and 
always the same rags suspended on surrounding cords ; 
then narrow streets with loaded donkeys feeling their way 
along slippery declivities, muddy streams trickling between 
the stones, ragged little scamps of beggars, and full views 
Into interior household arrangements. This mountain is 
a sort of elephant whereon crawling, fidgety human 
insects have taken up their abode. You pass a house 
deprived of its lower story, to which the inmates ascend 
by a ladder ; then another with an open door, through 
which you see a man strumming a guitar, surrounded by 
a lot of women assorting vegetables. Suddenly you 
emerge from this rag-fair, these rat-holes, this gipsy en- 
campment, and reach the magnificent convent, with all the 
beauties of nature before you and ail its treasures of art 

One of its courts especially, an ample enclosure sur- 
rounded by four white marble porticoes, and with a vast 
cistern in the centre, seemed to me admirable. Shrub- 
bery, high and thick, the blue lavender, overhangs its 
pavement, displaying its light and healthy verdure ; 
while above shines glittering white marble, and over this 
the rich blue sky, each of these colours framing the other 
and enhancing their respective value. How well they 
comprehend architecture here, and especially the portico ! 
In the north this feature is an excrescence, an importa- 
tion of pedantry ; nobody knows what to do with it, unac- 
customed as people are to evening promenades in the open 
air, and requiring no protection from the sun nor open- 
ings to admit the cool breeze of the sea. And especially 
are they insensible to the effect of simple lines and broad 
contrasts of few and simple colours. One must live 
beneath an intensely blue sky in order to enjoy the polish 
and whiteness of marble. Art was made for this country. 
la the happy frame of mind produced by this luminous 


sky and pure atmosphere, one loves ornament, and is 
content to see coloured marbles under his feet forming 
designs, and at the end of a gallery some large sculptured 
medallion, and on the summit of a portico half-nude 
statues of beautiful young saints or some female form of 
the same sentiment in fine drapery. Christianity thus 
becomes pleasing and picturesque; the eye is charmed 
and the soul is moved with a spirit of joy and noble- 
ness. At the end of one of the galleries are balconies 
facing the sea. From these you have a view of Naples 
immensely extended, and stretching as far as Vesuvius by 
a line of white houses ; and around the gulf the bend- 
ing coast embracing the blue sea, and beyond, the golden 
glimmering surface sparkling and flashing in sunlight, the 
sun itself resembling a lamp suspended in the vast con- 
cave firmament above. 

Beneath is a long slope covered with dull green olive 
trees, forming the convent gardens. Avenues of shady 
trellises run wherever the soil is level enough to sustain 
tfiem. Platforms with grand isolated trees, massive 
foundations burying themselves in the rocks, a colonnade 
in ruins, the broad bay beyond, innumerable little sails, 
Monte San Angelo, and smoking Vesuvius, all contribute 
to make of this convent a world by itself, secluded but 
complete, and so full of beauty. One is here transported 
leagues away from our common-place bourgeois life. Its 
inmates go bareheaded in brown and black garbs, and wear 
coarse shoes ; but beauty surrounds them, and no prince's 
palace I have yet seen makes such a noble imp: ession. 
Petty comforts are wanting here, but this only renders 
the rest more exalted. 

I visited lately one of the costliest and most elegant of 
modern mansions, situated like this, facing the sea. Its 
proprietor is a man of taste, has accumulated millions, and 
is prodigal of his wealth. Everything is polished, but 


nothing grand ; not a colonnade is to be seen, nor a splen- 
did apartment. Of what use would they be ? It is an 
agreeable residence, but not a corner, outside or inside, 
would a painter care to copy. Every object by itself is a 
model of finish and convenience ; there are six bell-knobs 
by each bedside, the curtains are exquisite, and the easy* 
chairs could not possibly be more comfortable. You find, 
as in English houses, every sort of utensil for petty ne- 
cessities. The architect and the upholsterer have deliber- 
ated over the best means for avoiding heat, cold, and too 
much light, and how to wash and to expectorate with the 
utmost facility, and that is all. The sole works of art 
visible are a few pictures by Watteau and Boucher. And 
these are incongruous, because they recall another epoch. 
Is there anything of the eighteenth century still subsist- 
ing with us ? Do we retain the antechamber and the 
splendid parade of aristocratic life ? A crowd of lacqueys 
would annoy us ; if we maintain courtiers it is in out 
bureaus ; what we require in our houses is easy-chairs, 
choice segars, a good dinner, and at most, on ceremonial 
occasions, a little extra display to do ourselves credit. 
We no longer know how to live on a grand scale, to live 
out of ourselves ; we canton ourselves in a small circle of 
personal comfort, and interest ourselves only in ephemeral 
works. Living at that time was reduced to simple wants, 
and thus free, the mind could contemplate distant hori- 
zons and embrace all that expands and endures beyond 
man's existence. 

A sallow-faced monk with brilliant eyes, and a reserved 
concentrated expression, conducted us into the church. 
Theie is not a corridor nor a vista that does not bear an 
artistic imprint. At the entrance, in a bare court, is a 
Madonna by Bernini, wriggling in her mincing drapery, 
and contemplating her infant, as pretty and delicate as a 
boudoir Cupid ; but she is a superb figure, nevertheless, 


and testifies to her race — the race of noble forms created 
by the great masters. When this convent was decorated 
in the seventeenth century, pure ideas of the beautiful no 
longer prevailed, but the beautiful was still an aspiration. 
The contrast is apparent on resorting to the interiors of 
Windsor, Buckingham Palace, or the Tuileries. 

This church is of extraordinary richness. What is 
here accumulated of precious marble, sculpture, and 
paintings, is incredible. The balustrades and columns 
are bijous. A legion of contemporary sculptors and 
painters, Guido, Lanfranco, Caravaggio, the Chevalier 
d'Arpino, Solimene, Luca Giordano, have all expended 
upon it the extravagances, the graces, and the damty 
conceptions of their pencils. The chapels alongside the 
great nave, and the sacristy, display paintings by hun- 
dreds. There is not a corner of the ceiling that is not 
covered with fresco. These figures all rush backwards 
and forwards as if they were in the open air ; draperies 
are floating and commingling, and rosy flesh glows under- 
neath silken tunics, their fine limbs seeming to delight in 
a display of their forms and movements. Many of the 
half-naked saints are charming youths, and an angel by 
Luca Giordano, attired in blue, with naked limbs and 
shoulders, resembles an amorous young girl. The atti- 
tudes are all exaggerated ; it is dire confusion, but it 
harmonises with the lustre of marble, the flutter of 
drapery, the sparkle of golden ornaments, and the splen- 
dour of columns and capitals. This decoration cannot be 
exclusively attributed to the cold flat taste of the priests. 
The breath of the preceding century still animates it ; we 
have the style of Euripides if we no longer possess that 
of Sophocles. Some of the subjects are magnificent, 
and among them a ' Descent from the Cross' by Ribera. 
The sun's rays shone through the half-drawn red silk 
curtains upon the head of Christ; the darks of the back- 


ground seemed still more lugubrious, contrasted suddenly 
with this bright light falling on the luminous flesh, while 
the mournful Spanish colouring, the powerful, mysterious 
tones of the impassioned countenances in shadow, gave 
to the scene the aspect of a vision, such as once filled 
the monastic chivalric brain of a Calderon or a Lope 4© 



At the end of the grotto of Pausilippo the country 
begins, a kind of orchard full of high vines, each one 
wedded to a tree. Underneath these shine the elegant 
green lupine and a species of the yellow crocus. All 
this lies before you sleeping in the misty atmosphere^ 
like jewels embedded in gauze. 

The road turns, and the sea appears, and you follow it 
as far as Pozzuoli. The morning is gray, and watery 
clouds float slowly above the dull horizon. The mist has 
not evaporated ; now and then it diminishes and lets a 
pale ray of sunshine glimmer through, like an impercepti- 
ble smile. Meanwhile the sea casts its long white swell 
on a strand as tranquil as itself, and then recedes with a 
low monotonous murmur. 

A uniform tint of pale blue, as if effaced, fills the 
immense expanse of the sea and the sky. Both sea and 
sky seem to be merged into each other; often do the 
small black boats appear like birds poised in the air. All 
is repose ; the ear scarcely detects the gentle murmur of 
the waves. The delicate hues of dripping slate in its 
dewy crevices alone furnish an idea of their faded tint. 
You repeat to yourself Virgil's lines ; you imagine those 
silent regions into which the Sibyl descends, the realm of 
floating shades, not cold and lugubrious like the Cimmerean 
laud of Homer, but where existence, vague and vapoury, 


reposes until the powerful rays of the sun concentrate it, 
and send it forth to flow radiant in life's torrent ; or 
again on those slumbering strands where future souls> a 
humming vapoury throng, fly indistinctly like bees 
around the calyx of a flower. Nisida, Ischia in the dis- 
tance, and Cape Mysena, bear no resemblance to visible 
objects, but to noble phantoms on the point of emerging 
into life. Farther on, the whole country, the while 
trunks of the sycamores, the verdure softened by mist 
and winter, the slender reeds, the passive surface of Lake 
Avernus, the faint mountain forms — all this mute languid 
landscape seems to be at rest, asleep, not subdued 
and stiffened by death, but softly enveloped in genial 
monotonous tranquillity. Such is the ancient conception 
of the extinction of life, of the beyond. Their tombs are 
not mournful ; the dead repose ; they do not suffer, and are 
not annihilated ; they bring them meat, wine, and milk ; 
they still exist, only they are transferred from the light 
of day to the gloom of twilight. Christian and Germanic 
ideas, the spiritual voices of Pascal and Shakspeare, do 
not address us here. 

I have not much to say of Baiae. It is a miserable 
village with a few boats moored around an old fortress. 
The rains have made a cesspool of it. Pozzuoli is still worse. 
Here hogs covered with mire roam about the streets ; 
some with a curb encompassing the belly, grunt and are 
strung-lino; for freedom. Ragged little urchins around them 
seem to be their brothers. A dozen or more of semi-beg- 
gars, a filthy parasite canaille, huddle around the carriage; 
you drive them off again and again, but to no purpose ; 
they insist on serving as your guides. Three years ago, 
it seems, they were much worse ; instead of twelve on our 
track, we would have had fifty. At Naples the boya 
wandered through the streets as they now do here. The 
people are still quite savage; when they heard of the 

l> 2 


arrival of Victor Emmanuel they were much astonished^ 
and supposed that Victor Emmanuel had dethroned Gari- 
baldi. Many of them have but one shoe, others trot 
about in the mud barefooted and barelegged. Their rags 
cannot be described — similar ones can only be found in 
London. Through the open doors you observe women 
freeing their children of vermin, and miserable straw-pal- 
lets with lolling forms on them. On the public thorough- 
fares at the entrance of the town you find clusters of 
vagabonds, little and big, awaiting their prey, perchance 
some foreigner, on whom they immediately pounce. 
Three among them showing themselves more eager than 
the others, my companion began to banter them. They 
are fond of humour, and reply to it with a mixture of im- 
pudence and humility. They even retort upon each 
other. One especially, pointing to his comrade, charged 
him with having a deformed mistress, and described the 
deformity with some detail. What woman is so unfortu- 
nate as to possess such a lover ! I suppose her olfactory 
nerves are no longer sensitive. In the grotto of Pausilippo, 
and throughout Naples in general, one is always inclined 
to stop his nose ; in summer, they say, it is much worse. 
And this is universal in the south, at Avignon, at Toulon, 
as well as in Italy. It is asserted that southerly senses 
are more delicate than northern ; — but this is true only 
for the eye and the ear. 

We visit a temple of Serapis, where three fine columns 
remain standing ; in the vicinity are antique baths and 
sulphurous springs, the entire coast being strewed with 
Roman remains. Arcades of villas, underground ruins, 
and maritime substructures, form an almost continuous 
chain. Most of the wealthy citizens of Rome possessed 
country houses here ; but to-day I am not in an archaeo- 
logical humour. 

I am wrong — the amphitheatre is well worth the trouble. 


The arches beneath it recently exhumed are as fresh as il 
constructed yesterday. An enormous subterranean story 
served as a lodging-place for gladiators and animals. This 
amphitheatre would seat 30,000 spectators. There was 
not an ancient Roman town from Antioch to Cadiz, and 
from Metz to Carthage, that did not possess one of these 
structures. For four hundred years what a consumption of 
living flesh! The more you contemplate the circus, the 
more evident is it that antique life culminated there. The 
city formed an association for the hunting of man, and to 
make the most of him ; it used and then abused its cap- 
tives and slaves, in times of moderation subsisting on 
their labour, and in ages of debauchery obtaining enter* 
tainment from their death throes. 

In these vast cellars, in this subterranean city, columns 
lie on the ground, prostrated by earthquakes, similar to 
huge trunks of trees. Green foliage hangs pendent along 
the walls, the water percolating through these like a 
fountain which, drop by drop, falls from the locks of a 

A Promenade to Castellamare and Sorrento. — The sky 
is almost clear. Only above Naples hangs a bank of 
clouds, and around Vesuvius huge white masses of smoke, 
moving and stationary. 

I never yet saw, even in summer at Marseilles, the 
blue of the sea so deep, bordering even on hardness. 
Above this powerful lustrous azure, absorbing three- 
quarters of the visible space, the white sky seems to be a 
firmament of crystal. As we recede we obtain a better 
view of the undulating coast, embraced in one grand 
mountain form, all its parts uniting like the members of 
one body, Ischia and the naked promontories on the ex- 
treme end repose in their lilac envelope, like a slumbering 
Pompeian nymph under her veil. Veritably, to paint 
Buch nature as this, this violet continent extending around 


this broad luminous water, one must employ the terms of 
the ancient poets, and represent the great fertile goddess 
embraced and beset by the eternal ocean, and above them 
the serene effulgence of the dazzling Jupiter. Hot 
sublime candens quern omnes invocant Jovem. 

We encounter on the road some fine faces ivdth long 
elegant features, quite Grecian; some intelligent noble 
looking girls, and here and there hideous mendicants 
cleaning their hairy breasts. But the race is much 
superior to that of Naples, where it is deformed and dimi- 
nutive, the young girls there appearing like stunted 
pallid grisettes. Labourers are busy in the field. By fre- 
quently seeing naked legs and feet, you get to be interested 
in forms ; you are pleased to see a muscle of the calf 
strain in pushing a cart, and swell and compass the entire 
limb ; the eye follows its curve up and down, and you 
admire the firm grasp of the toes on the ground, the fit- 
ness and insertion of each bone, the roundness of the large 
toe, the aptitude and force and activity of the limb. To 
daily spectacles of this kind in former times we are in- 
debted for sculpture. As soon as the shoe appeared it 
could no longer be said, as in the time of Homer, ' the 
fine-heeled women ;' nowadays the foot has no form ; 
it interests nobody but a shoemaker, and no longer pro- 
vides models which, gradually correcting each other, 
allow the development of its ideal type. In former times 
the Roman, rich or poor, also the Greek, always exposed 
his leg, and in the baths and in the gymnasia, his entire 
body. The custom of exercising naked was distinctly a 
Greek trait ; in Herodotus we see how offensive it was to 
the Asiatics and other barbarians. 

The railroad skirts the sea a few paces off and almost 
on a level with it. A harbour appears blackened with 
lines of rigging, and then a mole, consisting of a small half- 
ruined fort, reflecting a clear sharp shadow in the lumin < 


ous expanse. Surrounding this rise square houses, grey 
as if charred, and heaped together like tortoises under 
round roofs, serving them as a sort of thick shell. This 
is Torre del Greco, protecting itself against earthquakes 
and the showers of ashes launched forth by Vesuvius. 
Beyond breaks the sea, heaving and tossing like a tide- 
way. All this is peculiar and charming. On this fertile 
soil, full of cinders, cultivation extends to the shore and 
forms gardens ; a simple reed hedge protects them from 
the sea and the wind ; the Indian fig with its clumsy 
thorny leaves clings to the slopes ; verdure begins to 
appear on the branches of the trees, the apricots showing 
their smiling pink blossoms ; half-naked men work the 
friable soil without apparent effort ; a few square gardens 
contain columns and small statues of white marble. 
Everywhere you behold traces of antique beauty and 
joyousness. And why wonder at this w r hen you feel that 
you have the divine vernal sun for a companion, and on 
the right, whenever you turn to the sea, its flaming 
golden waves. 

With what facility you here forget all ugly objects ! 
I believe I passed at Castellamare some unsightly modern 
Structures, a railroad station, hotels, a guard-house, and 
a number of rickety vehicles hurrying along in quest of 
fares. This is all effaced from my mind; nothing re- 
mains but impressions of obscure porches with glimpses 
of bright courts filled with glossy oranges and spring 
verdure, of esplanades with children playing on them 
and nets drying, and happy idlers snuffing the breeze and 
contemplating the capricious heaving of the tossing sea. 

On leaving Castellamare the road forms a corniche* 
winding along the bank. Huge white rocks, split off from 

* This term designates a road built along the rocky shore of a seasid* 
being a figurative application of the architectural term cornice, — Tb. 


the cliffs above, lie below in the midst of the eternally 
besieging waves. On the left the mountains lift theii 
shattered pinnacles, fretted walls, and projecting crags, all 
that scaffolding of indentations which strike you as the 
ruins of a line of rocked and tottering fortresses. Each 
projection, each mass throws its shadow on the surround* 
ing white surfaces, the entire range being peopled with 
tints and forms. 

Sometimes the mountain is rent in twain, and the sides 
of the chasm are lined with cultivation, descending in suc- 
cessive stages. Sorrento is thus built on three deep 
ravines. All these hollows contain gardens, crowded with 
masses of trees overhanging each other. Nut-trees, already 
lively with sap, project their white branches like gnarled 
fingers ; everything else is green ; winter lays no hand on 
this eternal spring. The thick lustrous leaf of the orange- 
tree rises from amidst the foliage of the olive, and its 
golden apples glisten in the sun by thousands, interspersed 
with gleams of the pale lemon ; often in these shady lanes 
do its glittering leaves flash out above the crest of the 
walls. This is the land of the orange. It grows even in 
miserable court-yards, alongside of dilapidated steps, 
spreading its luxuriant tops everywhere in the bright 
sunlight. The delicate aromatic odour of all these open- 
ing buds and blossoms is a luxury of kings, which here 
a beggar enjoys for nothing. 

I passed an hour in the garden of the hotel, a terrace 
overlooking the sea about half-way up the bank. A 
scene like this fills the imagination with a dream of per- 
fect bliss. The house stands in a luxurious garden, filled 
*ith orange and lemon-trees, as heavily laden with fruit 
as those of a Normandy orchard ; the ground at the foot 
©f the trees is covered with it. Clusters of foliage and 
shrubbery of a pale green, bordering on blue, occupy 
intermediate spaces. The rosy blossoms of the peach, 


90 tender and delicate, bloom on its naked branches. The 
walks are of bright blue porcelain, and the terrace dis- 
plays its round verdant masses overhanging the sea, of 
which the lovely azure fills all space. 

I have not yet spoken of my impressions after leaving 
Castellamare. The charm was only too great. The pure 
sky, the pale azure almost transparent, the radiant blue sea 
as chaste and tender as a virgin bride, this infinite expanse 
bo exquisitely adorned as if for a festival of rare delight, 
is a sensation that has no equal. Capri and Ischia on the 
line of the sky lie white in their soft vapoury tissue, and 
the divine azure gently fades away surrounded by this 
border of brightness. 

Where find words to express all this? The gulf 
seemed like a marble vase purposely rounded to receive 
the sea. The satin sheen of a flower, the soft luminous 
petals of the velvet orris with shimmering sunshine on 
their pearly borders, such are the images that fill the mind, 
and which accumulate in vain and are ever inadequate. 

The water at the base of these rocks is now a trans* 
parent emerald, reflecting the tints of topaz and amethyst ; 
again a liquid diamond, changing its hue according to the 
shifting influences of rock and depth ; or again a flashing 
diadem, glittering with the splendour of this divine efful- 

As the sun declines, the blue towards the north deepens 
in tone, and resembles the colour of dark wine. Tha 
cosst becomes black, rising in relief like a barrier of jet, 
whilst the evening glow spreads and diffuses itself over 
the sea. As I passed along the road I thought of Ulysses 
and his companions ; of their two-sailed barks, similar to 
those here dancing on the waves like sea-gulls ; on the 
indented shores by which they coasted ; on the unknown 
creeks in which they anchored at night; on the vague 
astonishment excited by new forests ; on the repose of 


their wearied limbs on these dry sandy promontories ; on 
those fine heroic forms whose nudity graced these desert 
capes. Syrens with dishevelled locks and marble torsos 
might well arise in these azure depths before those polished 
rocks, and but little effort of the imagination is neces- 
sary to catch the song of the enchantress Circe. In thi3 
climate she might address Ulysses, ' Come, place thy sword 
in its sheath, and we two will then betake ourselves to my 
couch, that there united by love we may trust in one 
another.' The words of the old poet on the purple sea, 
on the ocean embracing the earth, on the white-armed 
women, come into the mind naturally as on their native 

Indeed, all is beauty, and in this clement atmosphere 
a simple life may revive as in the time of Homer. All 
that three thousand years of civilisation have added to 
our well-being seems useless. What does man need 
here ? A strip of linen and a piece of cloth if, like Ulysses' 
companions, his body is healthy and he comes of good 
stock ; once clothed, the rest is superfluous, or comes of 
itself. They slaughter a stag, roast his flesh on coals, 
drink wine from skins, light fires, and repose at evening on 
the sand. How complicated and perverted man has become ! 
How gladly one dwells on the luxurious life of a goddess as 
Homer imagines it ! ' There was a great cave in which 
the fair-haired nymph dwelt. A large fire was burning 
on the hearth, and at a distance the smell of well-cleft 
eedxr and of frankincense that was burning shed odour 
through the island; but she within was singing with a 
beautiful voice, and going over the web, wove with a 
golden shuttle. But a flourishing wood sprung up around 
her grot, alder and poplar and sweet-smelling cypress. 
There also birds with spreading wings slept, owls and 
hawks, and wide-tongued crows of the ocean, to which 
maritime employment is a care. Then a vine in its 


prime was spread about the hollow grot, and it flourished 
with clusters. But four fountains flowed in succession 
with white water, turned near one another, each in diffe- 
rent ways ; but around them flourished soft meadows of 
violet, and of parsley. There indeed even an immortal 
coming would admire it, when he beheld, and would be 
delighted in his mind.' * [ 

She herself spreads the table, and serves her guest like 
Nausicaa; if necessary she accompanies the servants to 
wash his vestments in the neighbouring torrent. Acti 
of this kind were performed naturally like walking ; they 
no more thought of avoiding one than of avoiding the 
other. Thus was the force and agility of the limbs 
maintained ; it was an instinct and a pleasure to exercise 
and employ them. Man is still a noble animal, almost 
related to the fine-blooded horses that he feeds on his 
pastures ; thus the use of his arms and his body is not 
to him servile. Ulysses, with axe and auger, cuts and 
fashions the olive trunk that serves as the framework of 
his nuptial couch ; the young chiefs that strive to espouse 
his wife slaughter and dress the sheep and hogs they 
consume. And sentiments are as natural as habits. Man 
does not constrain himself; he is not partially developed 
on the side of savage heroism as in Germany, or that of 
morbid superstition as in India ; he is not ashamed of fear 
sometimes, of confessing it, and of even being moved to 

Goddesses love heroes, and offer themselves without 
blushing, as a flower inclines to the neighbouring flower 
that renders it fertile. Desire seems as beautiful as 
modesty, vengeance as forgiveness. Man blooms out 
fully, harmoniously, easily, like platanes and the orange 
nourished by fresh sea breezes and the balmy atmosphere 

* The Odyssey, translated by Buckley. 


of ravines, and which spread their round tops without 
hand to prune them or rigour of climate to repel the sap 
from their buds and blossoms. Out of all these narratives, 
out of the forests and waters just traversed, vaguely 
emerges the figures of antique heroes ; that of Ulysses 
rising out of the flood, 6 grander in form and more broad- 
shouldered ' than other men, ' his locks falling upon his 
neck similar to the flowers of the hyacinth,' or alongside 
of him the young maidens who lay aside their garments 
and play on the river bank, and among them Nausicaa, 
' the unconquered maiden, taller than her companions by 
more than a head.' 

Even this does not suffice. It seemed to me that to 
describe this sky, this intensely bright luminous at- 
mosphere enveloping and animating all things, the smiling 
radiant sea its spouse, this earth which advances to meet 
them, it would be necessary to revert to the Vedic 
hymns, and there, like our first parents, find true exist- 
ences, simple loving universal beings, shadowy, eternal 
dvinities, now no longer recognised by us, occupied as 
we are with the details of our little life, but who, in sum, 
subsist alone, bearing us, protecting us, and living 
together as formerly, unconscious of the imperceptible 
movements and ephemeral toiling and scratching of our 
civilisation on theii bosom. 



Several days at Herculaneum and Pompeii. — Thousands 
and thousands of objects pass before one's eyes, all of 
wliich, on returning home, whirl through the brain. 
How abstract from this chaos any dominant impression 
any connected view of the whole ? 

The first and most enduring is the image of the reddish- 
grey city, half ruined and deserted, a pile of stones on a 
hill of rocks, with rows of thick wall, and bluish flagging 
glittering in the dazzling white atmosphere ; and sur- 
rounding this the sea, the mountains, and an infinite 

On the summit stand the temples, that of Justice, of 
Venus, of Augustus, of Mercury, the house of Eumachia, 
and other temples, still incomplete, and, farther on, also on 
an elevation, the temple of Neptune. They also raised their 
gods on high in the pure atmosphere, of itself a divinity. 
The forum and the curia alongside afford a noble spo+ for 
councils, and to offer sacrifices. In the distance you 
discern the grand lines of the vapoury mountains, the 
tranquil tops of the Italian pine; then to the east, within 
the blonde sunlit haze, fine tree-forms and diversities ot 
culture. You turn, and but little effort of the imagina- 
tion enables you to reconstruct these temples. These 


columns, these Corinthian capitals, this simple arrange* 
ment, those openings of blue between those marble shafts, 
what an impression such a spectacle contemplated from 
infancy left on the mind ! The city in those days was a 
veritable patrimony, and not, as now, a government col- 
lection of lodging-houses. Of what significance to me are 
the Rouen or Limoges of to-day ? I can lodge there 
amidst piles of other lodgings : life comes from Paris. 
Paris itself, what is it but another heap of lodgings, 
the life of which issues from a bureau filled with clerks 
and red tape ? Here, on the contrary, men regarded 
their city as jewel and casket; they bore with them 
everywhere the image of their acropolis and its bright 
illuminated temples ; the villages of Gaul and Germany, 
the whole barbaric north, seemed to them simply mire 
and wilderness. In their eyes, a man who belonged to 
no city was not a man, but a kind of brute, almost a 
beast — a beast of prey, out of which nothing could be 
made but a beast of burden. The city is an unique 
institution, the fruit of a sovereign idea that for twelve 
centuries controlled all man's actions; it is the great 
invention by which man first emerged from a primi- 
tive state of savagery. It was both feudal castle and 
church : how man loved it, how devoted he was to it, and 
hirvi absorbed by it no tongue can tell. To the universe 
at large he was either a stranger or an enemy : he had m> 
lights in it; neither his body nor his property were safe 
in it; if he found protection there it was a matter o/ 
grace ; he never thought of it but as a place of danger or 
of plunder : the enclosure of his city was his sole refuge 
and fortress. Moreover, here dwelt his divinities, his 
Jupiter and Juno, gods inhabiting the city, attached to 
the soil, and who, in primitive conceptions, constituted 
the soil itself, with all its streams, its fruits and the 
firmament above. Here was his hearthstone, his penates, 


his ancestors, reposing in their tombs, incorporated with 
the soil and gathered to it by the earth, the great nurse, 
and whose subterranean manes in their silent bed watched 
over him unceasingly ; it was a combination of all salutary, 
sacred, and beautiful things, and for him to defend, to 
love, and to venerate. ' Country is more than father or 
mother,' said Socrates to Crito; 'and whatever violence 
or whatever injustice she inflicts upon us we must sub- 
mit without striving to escape from it.' So did Greece 
and Rome comprehend life. When their philosophers, 
Aristotle or Plato, treat of the State, it is as a city, a 
compact exclusive city of from five to ten thousand fami- 
lies, in which marriage, occupations, and the like, are sub- 
ordinated to the interests of the public. If to all these 
peculiarities we add the accurate and picturesque imagi- 
nation of southern races, their aptitude at representing 
corporeal forms and local objects, the glowing exterior and 
bold relief of their city, we comprehend that such a con- 
ception of it produced in antique breasts a unique sensa- 
tion, and furnished sources of emotion and devotion to 
which we are strangers. 

All these streets are narrow ; the greater portion are 
mere lanes, over which one strides with ease. Generally 
there is room only for a cart, and ruts are still visible : 
from time to time wide stones afford a crossing like a 
bridge. These details indicate other customs than our 
own there was evidently no great traffic as in our 
cities, nothing like our heavily-loaded vehicles, and 
fast-trotting fanciful carriages. Their carts transported 
grain, oil, and provisions : much of the transportation was 
done on the arm and by slaves : the rich travelled about 
in litters. They possessed fewer and different con- 
veniences One prominent trait of antique civilisation is 
the absence of industrial pursuits. All supplies, utensils, 
and tissues, everything that machines and fres labour now 


produce in such enormous quantities for everybody and at 
every price, were wanting to them. It was the slave who 
turned the mill-wheel : man devoted himself to the beauti- 
ful, and not to the useful ; producing but little, he could 
consume but little. Life was necessarily simple, and 
philosophers and legislators were well aware of this ; if 
they enjoined temperance it was not through pedantic 
motives, but because luxury was visibly incompatible with 
the social state of things. A few thousands of proud, 
brave, temperate men, with only half a shirt and a mantle 
apiece, who delighted in the view of a hill with a group of 
beautiful temples and statues, \ho entertained themselves 
with public business, and passed their days in the gymna- 
sium, at the forum, in the baths and the theatre, who 
washed and anointed themselves with oil, and were con- 
tent with things as they stood ; — such was the city of 
antiquity. When their necessities and refinements get to 
be immoderate, the slave who only has his arms no longer 
suffices. For the establishment of vast complicated 
organisations like our modern communities, for example, 
the equality and security of a limited monarchy, in which 
order and the acquisition of wealth is the common end of 
all, there was no basis ; when Rome desired to create it 
the cities were crushed out, the exhausted slaves had dis- 
appeared, the spring to set it in motion was broken, and 
all perished. 

This becomes clearer on entering the houses — those of 
Cornelius Eufus, Marcus Lucretius, the Casa Nuovaand 
the house of Sallust. They are small, and the apart* 
ments are yet smaller. They are designed expressly for 
enjoying cool air and to sleep in ; man passed his days 
elsewhere — in the forum, in the baths, and at the theatre. 
Private life, so important to us, was then much curtailed ; 
the essential thing was public life. There is no trace of 
chimneys, and certainly there were but few articles 0/ 


furniture. The walls are painted in red and blacky a 
contrast which produces a pleasing effect in a semi- 
obscurity; arabesques of a charming airiness abound every- 
where — Neptune and / polio building the walls of Troy, 
a Triumph of Hercuh. ; exquisite little cupids, dancing 
females apparently fly through the air, young girls 
inclining against cohr xiis, and Ariadne discovered by 
Bacchus. What vigour, what ingenuousness in all these 
youthful forms! Sometimes the panel contains only a 
graceful sinuous border, and in its centre a griffin. The 
subjects are merely indicated, corresponding to our 
painted wall-papers ; but what a difference ! Pompeii is 
an antique St. Germain or Fontainebleau, by which one 
easily sees the gulf separating the old and the new 

Almost everywhere in the centre of the house is a 
garden like a large saloon, and in the middle of this a 
marble basin, a fountain flowing into it, and the whole en- 
closed within a portico of columns. What could be more 
charming, and simple, and better disposed for the warm 
hours of the day ? With green leaves visible between two 
white columns, red tiles against the blue of the sky, the 
murmuring water sparkling among flowers like a jet of 
liquid pearls, and those shadows of porticoes intersected by 
the powerful light ; is there a more congenial place for the 
body to grow freely, for healthy meditation, and to enjoy, 
without ostentation or affectation, all that is most beau- 
tiful in nature and in life ? Some of these fountains bear 
lions' heads, and sprightly statuettes of children, with 
lizards, dogs, and fauns grouped around their margins 
In the most capacious of all these houses, that of Diomed 
orange and lemon trees, similar, probably, to those ot 
ancient days, are putting forth their fresh green buds ; a 
fishpool gleams brightly, and a small colonnade encloses 
a summer dining-room, the whole embraced within the 


square of a grand portico. The more the imagination 
dwells on the social economy of antiquity, the more beau« 
tiful it seems, and the more conformable to the climate 
and the nature of man. The women had their gyn&ceurn 
in the rear behind the court and portico, a secluded 
retreat with no external communication, and entirely 
separated from public life. They were not very active in 
their small apartments ; they indulged in indolent repose, 
like Italian ladies of the present day, or employed them- 
selves on woollen fabrics, awaiting a father's or husband's 
return from the business and converse of men. Wander- 
ing eyes passed carelessly over obscure walls, dimly 
discerning, not pictures, as in our day, plastering them, not 
archaeological curiosities, and works of a different art and 
country ; but figures repeating and beautifying ordinary 
attitudes, such as retiring to and arising from bed, the 
siesta, and various avocations; goddesses surrounding 
Paris, a Fortune, slender and elegant, like the females of 
Primaticcio, or a Deidamia frightened and falling back- 
ward on a chair. Habits, customs, occupations, dress, and 
monuments, all issue from one and a unique source ; the 
human plant grew but on one stalk, which stalk had 
never been grafted. At the present time the civilisation 
of the same land, here, at Naples, is full of incongruities, 
because it is older, and is made up of the contributions of 
diverse races. Spanish, Catholic, feudal, and northern 
traits generally commingle here, to confuse and deform 
a primitive, pagan, Italian sketch. Naturalness, accord- 
ingly, and ease have vanished ; all is grimace. Out of 
all one sees at Naples, how much of it is really indigenous? 
A love of comfort, dress-coats, lofty edifices, and indus- 
trial craft, have all come from the North. Were man 
true to his instincts he would live here as the ancients did, 
that is to say, half-naked or clad in mantles of linen. 
Ancient civilisation grew out of the climate, and a ra*e 


appropriate to the climate, and this is why it was harmo- 
nious and beautiful 

The theatre crowns the summit of a hill; its seats 
are of Parian marble ; in front is Vesuvius, and the sea 
radiant with morning splendour. Its roof was an awning, 
which, again, was sometimes wanting. Compare this 
with our nocturnal edifices, lighted by gas and filled 
with a mephitic atmosphere, where people pile themselves 
up in gaudy boxes ranged in rows like suspended cages ; 
you then appreciate the difference between a gymnastic 
natural life with atheletic forms, and our complicated 
artificial life with its dress-coats. The impression is the 
same in the majestic amphitheatre exposed to the sun, 
except that here is the blot of antique society, the Roman 
imprint of blood. The same impression you find in the 
baths; the red cornice of the frigidarium is full of charm- 
ing airy little cupids, bounding away on horses or con- 
ducting chariots. Nothing is more agreeable and better 
understood than the drying-room, with its vault covered 
with small figures in relief in rich medallions, and a file of 
Hercules ranged round the wall, their vigorous shoulders 
supporting the entablature. All these forms live and are 
healthy ; none are exaggerated or overloaded. What a 
contrast on comparing with this our modern bathhouse, 
with its artificial, insipid nudities, its sentimental and 
voluptuous designs. The bathhouse nowadays is a wash- 
room ; in former times it was a pleasant retreat and a 
gymnastic institution.* Several hours of the day were 
devoted to it : the muscles got to be supple and the skin 
brilliant ; man here savoured of the voluptuous animality 
which permeated his alternately braced and mollified 
flesh ; he lived not only through the head, as now, but 
through the body. 

* *H yvfivaariKifi. "We have no term by which to desif/nate an art em 
bracing all that related to the perfection of the naked anroal. 

b 2 


'We descend and leave the city by the Street of Tombs. 
These tombs are almost entire; nothing can be nobler 
than their forms, nothing more sofemn without being 
lugubrious. Death was not then surrounded with the 
torments of ascetic superstition, with ideas of hell ; in the 
mind of the ancients it was one of the offices of man, 
simply a termination of life, a serious and not a terrible 
thing, which one regarded calmly and not with the shud- 
dering; doubts of Hamlet. The ashes and images of their 
ancestors were preserved in their dwellings ; they saluted 
them on entering, and the living maintained intercourse 
with them ; at the entrance of a city tombs were ranged 
on both sides of the street, and seemed to be the primi- 
tive, the original city of its founders. Hippias, in one of 
Plato's dialogues, says that ' that which is most beau- 
tiful for a man is to be rich, healthy, and honoured by 
Greeks, to attain old age, to pay funeral honours to his 
parents when they die, and himself to receive from his 
children a fitting and magnificent burial.' 

The truest history would be that of the five or six ideas 
that rule in the mind of man — how an ordinary man, two 
thousand years ago, regarded death, fame, well-being, 
country, love, and happiness. Two ideas controlled an- 
cient civilisation ; the first, that of man, and the second, 
that of the city : to fashion a fine animal, agile, tem- 
perate, brave, hardy, and complete, and this through 
physical exercise and selection of good stock; and then 
to construct a small exclusive community, containing in 
its bosom all that man loved and respected, a kind of 
permanent camp with the exigences of continual danger; 
— these were the two ideas that gave birth to all the 



The Museo Borbonico. — Most of the paintings of Pom- 
peii and Herculaneum have been removed to the Museo 
at Naples, These consist principally of mural decorations, 
and generally without perspective, there being one or two 
figures on a dark background, with now and then animals, 
slight landscape views, and sections of architecture. The 
colouring is feeble, it being scarcely more than indicated, 
or rather subdued, effaced, aiid not by time (for I have 
seen quite fresh pictures), but designedly. To attract 
the eye was not an aim in these somewhat sombre apart- 
ments ; they delighted in an attitude or form of the body, 
the mind being entertained with healthy and poetic 
images of physical activity. I have derived more pleasure 
from these paintings than from the most celebrated of 
the Renaissance epoch. There is more nature, more life 
in them. 

The subjects have no particular interest, consisting 
oidinarily of a male or female figure nearly nude, raising 
an arm cr a leg ; Mars and Venus, Diana finding Endy- 
mion, Briseis conducted by Agamemnon, and the like, 
dancers, fauns, centaurs, a warrior bearing away a female, 
who, so carried, is so much at her ease ! Nothing mora 
10 requisite, because you feel at once their beauty and 


repose. You cannot comprehend, before seeing it, how 
many charming attitudes a half-draped figure, floating in 
the air, can present to you ; how many ways a veil can 
be raised, a flowing tunic arranged, a limb projected, and a 
breast exposed. The painters of these pictures enjoyed a 
unique advantage, one which no others have possessed, even 
those of the Renaissance, of living amidst congenial social 
customs, of constantly seeing figures naked and draped in 
the amphitheatre and in the baths, and besides this, of 
cultivating the corporeal endowments of strength and 
fleetness of foot. They alluded to fine breasts, well-set 
necks, and muscular arms as we of the present day do to 
expressive countenances and well-cut pantaloons. 

Two bronze statuettes among these paintings are 
masterpieces. One, called a Narcissus, is a young shep- 
herd, nude, and bearing a goatskin slung over his shoul- 
der ; it might be called an Alcibiades, so ironic and 
aristocratic is the smile and the turn of the head ; the 
feet are covered with the cnemid, and the fine chest, 
neither too full nor too spare, falls to the hips in a beauti- 
ful waving line. Such were Plato's youths, educated in 
the gymnasium; such, Charmides, a scion of the best 
families, whose footsteps his companions followed because 
of his beauty and his resemblance to a god. The other 
is a satyr, also nude, and more virile, dancing with his 
head thrown back, and with an incomparable expression 
of gaiety. It may be said that nobody by the side of 
these people ever so felt and comprehended the human 
form. This feeling and knowledge were nourished by an 
ensemble of surrounding social habits and ideas Special 
conditions had to exist in order to evolve an ideal of 
humanity out of a nude human being happy in simple 
existence, and yet lacking none of man's grander intellec- 
tual characteristics. For this reason the centre of Greek 
art is not painting, but sculpture- 


There is still another reason, which is that a pose was 
then practicable. To assume an attitude is, to-day, an 
effort and an act of vanity, but not so formerly. A 
Greek, in his leisure moments leaning against a column 
of the palestrum and contemplating youths exercising, or 
listening to a philosopher posed well because, first, he had 
acquired full mastery of every part of his body, and next, 
through aristocratic pride. Imposing demeanour, and 
that grave, noble aspect described by philosophers, belong 
to a noble society composed of men owning slaves, 
making war, and discussing laws ; there is no need to 
strive after it ; its natural and permanent source is man's 
consciousness of his importance, courage, independence, 
and dignity. Look at the easy deportment of the young 
intelligent English nobles of the present day, and of the 
well-bred men of the highest French families ; society, 
however, now renders the young Englishman too stiff, 
and the young Frenchman too careless ; in antiquity it 
rendered the youth calm and sedate. We form some 
idea of this easy bearing from Plato, who opposes to the 
bustle, the ruses, the shoutings, the slave characteristics 
of the man of business, the natural repose of the free 
man, who confines himself to the deliberate discussion 
of general questions, who takes up and drops a subject at 
pleasure, ' who knows how to adjust his garments becom- 
ingly, and who, with unerring tact, following the harmony 
of philosophic discourse, celebrates the true life of gods 
and of immortals.' 

In promenading these silent halls alone for a few hours, 
the illusion grows on you. So many mementoes of the 
past render it, to a certain extent, present and palpable. 
And especially this assembly of white statues, which, in 
this cold grey atmosphere, like that of a subterranean 
gallery, resembles the manes who, in mysterious realms 
underground, maintain a sombre invisible existence ; ot f 


again, the inhabitants of those vacant circles whom 
Goethe, the great pagan, places around living and tangible 
beings. Here are heroes and queens, 6 those that have 
acquired a name, or who have aspired to some noble end,' 
the elite of extinct generations ; here have they descended 
with ' grave deportment, taking their places before the 
throne of powers whom no man has fathomed. Even in 
Hades they maintain a proud, dignified attitude, ranging 
themselves alongside of their equals, the familiar asso- 
ciates of Persephone,' whilst the ignorant multitude, the 
souls of the vulgar, ' assigned to the depths where are the 
fields of Asphodel, among tall poplars, and on sterile 
pasture-ground, hum sadly like bats or spectres, and are 
no longer men.' Only do ideal forms escape the engulf- 
ment of time, and pepetuate for us perfect works and 
perfect thoughts. 

One forgets himself in the presence of such noble 
heads, before these stern Junos, these Venuses, these 
Minervas, these broad breasts of heroic gods, this grave 
human head of Jupiter. One of these heads, a Juno, is 
almost masculine, similar to that of a proud contemplative 
young man. I always returned to a colossal Flora, 
standing in the middle of the hall, draped so as to reveal 
her forms; but of such an austere dignified simplicity. 
She is a veritable goddess ; and how superior to the 
Madonnas, the skeletons, and ascetic sufferers like St. 
Bartholomew or St. Jerome ! A head and an attitude of 
this stamp are moral, but not in a Christian sense ; they 
do not inspire sentiments of mystic, painful resignation, 
but a desire to support life courageously, firmly, and 
calmly, with the proud consciousness of possessing a 
superior nature. I cannot enumerate or describe all 
these heads ; what I feel is, that of all the arts sculpture 
is the most Greek, and for this reason, that it displays a 
pure type, an abstract physical personage, form in itself, 


as a fine race and a gymnastic life have moulded it ; and 
because it shows it independent of a group, and not 
subjected to expression and moral disturbances, with 
nothing to divert attention from it, and before the passions 
have disfigured it or subordinated its activity. This ia 
^ith the Greeks, the ideal type of man, such as their 
social and moral conceptions sought to develop him. His 
nudity is not indecent, but with them a distinctive trait, 
the prerogative of their race, the condition of their culture, 
the accompaniment of their great national and religious 
ceremonial. At the Olympic games the athletes wear no 
clothing ; Sophocles, fifteen years old, strips himself to 
sing the paeon after the victory of Salamina. We of 
to-day sculpture nudities only through pedantry or 
hypocrisy ; they sculptured them in order to express a 
primitive, honest conception of the nature of man. This 
glorious conception followed them even into debauchery; 
the paintings in their haunts of vice, as in the lupanars 
of Pompeii, exhibit forms full and robust, without 
voluptuous insipidity or seductive softness ; with them 
love is not a debasement of the senses or an ecstasy of 
the soul, but a function. Between the brute and the 
god, which Christianity opposes one to the other, they 
place man, who reconciles both. Hence their reason for 
painting him, and especially for carving his form in 
sculpture. Undoubtedly they implored images, according 
to the superstitious instincts of southern races, as their 
descendants nowadays implore the saints ; they prayed to 
Diana and the healing Apollo; they burned incense before 
them, and poured out libations, as people now present 
ex~votos and wax candles to the Madonna and St. 
Januarius. They too had their sacred statuary in the 
recesses of their dwellings and in small oratorios specially 
adapted to them ; they repeated in their statues conse- 
crated attitudes and attributes, a Venus Anadyomene, a 


Bacchus sleeping, as the paintings of the sixteenth cen- 
tury represent St. Catherine on her wheel, and St. Paul 
holding a sword, only the effect was different as the 
Bpectacle was different. In the passing glance they 
bestowed on these, instead of being affected by a bony 
figure or a bleeding heart, they were sensitive to a fine 
round shoulder, the arched back of an athlete, and a 
warrior's powerful chest ; and on these images, accumula- 
ting from infancy, their mind dwelt, forging for itself the 
type of man. -All this thus spoke to them: ' Behold 
thyself as thou shouldst be, as thou shouldst drape 
thyself ! Strive to obtain flexible muscles and firm robust 
flesh ! Bathe thyself, frequent the palestrum, be strong 
on all occasions in behalf of thy city and friends ! ' 
Works of art of the present time do not address us in this 
fashion ; we do not go naked, and we are not citizens ; 
our spokesman is Faust and Werther, or rather some late 
Parisian romance or the Songs of Heine. 

It now remains for me to cite a few works without 
which the foregoing would be somewhat obscure. The 
following are five or six of the most celebrated. 

The Farnesian Hercules is a vigorous porter, having 
just lifted a piece of timber, and thinking that a glass of 
wine would not come amiss. It is much too literal and 
vulgar ; he is not a god but an ox-killer. 

The Farnesian Bull. Amphion and Zethes, obeying 
their mother Antiope, bind Dirce to the horns of a bull. 
This work seems to belong to the second or third era of 
sculpture. There are four figures of life-size, besides the 
bull, some dogs, and a child. This is a picture or a drama ; 
the sculptor has sought to tell a story, to excite pathetic 
interest. All the arts lower themselves in departing 
from their appropriate sphere. 

There is a superb head of a horse in bronze. Like all 
admirable Greek horses, this one shows he is not yet a 


victim to training ; his spirit is intact ; he has the short 
neck, intelligent eye, and exuberant will of undisciplined 
horses still observable on our landes or in the north of 
Scotland. This horse is a personage ; ours are machines* 

The charming Naples Psyche. This refined youthful 
torso, with its delicate distingue head, is likewise not of the 
great epoch of sculpture ; and still less the Venus Calli- 
pygis, apparently a boudoir ornament, reminding one of 
the pretty license of our eighteenth century. 

There are innumerable statues and busts of actual 
personages in marble and in bronze ; a seated Agrippina, 
sad and energetic; nine statues of the Balba family; an 
admirable standing orator, preoccupied with the gravity 
of what he is about to utter, a veritable statesman, and 
worthy of the antique tribune ; Tiberius, Titus, Antonine, 
Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius, all emperors and consuls, 
with statesmen's heads and a business-like aspect like our 
modern cardinals. On approaching nearer to our own 
times we find art inclining to mere portraiture ; objects 
are not ennobled but imitated ; the faces of Sextus Em- 
piricus and Seneca look excited, anxious, and ugly, strik- 
ingly real, like plaster casts. Our Musee Campana at 
Paris shows that on reaching the centuries of degeneracy 
sculpture ended in the reproduction of morbid personal 
defects, such as deformities and nervous contortions, and 
other insignificant traits — like the bourgeois characters of 
Henri Monnier photographed to the life. 

Modern Pictures. — There are, I believe, seven or eight 
hundred pictures in this collection. I, who am not a 
painter, can only give the impressions of a man to whom 
painting affords much pleasure, and who sees in it, more- 
over, a complement of history. 

Raphael has several portraits, that of a cardinal, one of 
the chevalier Tibaldo, and another of Leo X. The Leo X. 
is a big sanctimonious personage, tolerably vulgar, and the 


more strikingly so contrasted with tlie acolytes by his 
side, two crafty thoughtful ecclesiastics. Raphael's su- 
periority is observable in his perfectly healthy and just 
perceptions ; his portraits give us the essence of a man, 
without any affectation. 

Ribera. — A drunken Silenus, with a huge paunch, the 
chest of Vitellius, and dark features as low and cunning 
in expression as those of an inquisitive Sancho, and with 
horribly crooked legs : a strong light and surrounding 
shadows render all this brighter and more salient, and as 
a trumpet-blast to this brutal insignificance, this savage 
energy, a jackass is braying with all his might. 

Guercino. — His charming Magdalen, nude to the 
waist, is in the most graceful attitude, has the most 
beautiful hair, the most beautiful breasts, and the 
sweetest, tenderest, scarcely perceptible smile of dreamy 
melancholy ; she is the gentlest and most captivating 
of lovers, and is contemplating a crown of thorns ! 
How remote from the simplicity and vigour of the pre- 
ceding age ! The reign of pastorals, sigisbes, and devout 
sentimentality has commenced ; this Magdalen is related 
to the Herminias and Sophronias and the gentle heroines 
of Tasso, and, with them, is born out of the Jesuitical 

Leonardo da Vinci. — A Virgin and Child of extraordi- 
nary finesse. Her eyes are downcast, and a strange mys- 
terious smile slightly draws the lip ; the face is disturbed 
with the emotion of a delicate, sensitive spirit of great 
intellectual refinement; behind the head appears a 
blooming lily. This artist is wholly modem, infinitely 
in advance of his age ; through him the Renaissance and 
our own epoch touch without an interval. He is already 
a savant, an experimentalist, an investigator, a sceptic, to 
which may be added the possession of the grace of a 
woman, and the chagrined heart of a man of genius. 


Several works by Parmegiano are of rare distinction, 
among which are some heads, long and elegant, and among 
them that of a modest candid young girl, bearing an 
expression of astonishment. A large portrait represents 
a grandee of the day, evidently a man of letters, a con- 
noisseur and a soldier ; he wears a red cap, and his cuirass 
lies in one corner ; his noble face is delicate and dreamy, 
the hair and beard being abundant and of remarkable 
beauty ; a more aristocratic head could not be imagined. 
You observe in this head the peculiarly mild expression of 
a student ; he is a captain, a thinker, and a man of the 
world. Parmegiano lived in the first half of the sixteenth 
century, about the commencement of the decline of Italy. 
What genius and culture among the men of that day, 
subject to the oppressing influences of degeneracy ! Read 
the ' Courtier ' of Castiglione, if you would obtain an idea 
of the polished, creative society imbued with philosophy, 
and liberal in spirit, then perishing. 

Its two destroyers are here, both painted by Titian ; 
Philip II., pale, stiff, irresolute, and with blinking eyes, a 
formal pedant such as the Venetian despatches describe 
him ; and the other Pope Paul III., with a large white 
beard, and the air of a brooding wolf. There is another 
pope by Sebastian del Piombo, with handsome regular 
features, but black like the waters of a turbid stream, 
and looking obliquely out of half-closed eyes. Various 
pictures complete this train of ideas ; for example, that by 
Micco Spadaro, entitled ' The Submission of Naples to 
Don John of Austria.' War was tragic enough in those 
days : we know how the Spaniards treated their recon- 
quered cities in Flanders. On the market place and all 
along the street dense masses of soldiers stand with pikes 
in hand, and muskets planted in their rests, awaiting the 
word of command; flags float from rank to rank; the 
vanquished city is overwhelmed by force and terror 


Humbly on their knees the magistrates present it* 
keys, and on the pedestal of the statute of the viceroy; 
demolished by the revolutionary populace, and stretched 
along its white base, are severed heads staining it with 
their dripping blood ; high mournful houses behind it cast 
lugubrious shadows, and in the background rises a great 
barrier of mountains. Eight years after this the plague 
comes, and 50,000 persons at Naples die of it; the Car- 
thusian monastery alone is preserved, through the inter- 
cession of its founder, and a second picture by the same 
artist represents this singular scene. You see in the air 
St. Martin and the Virgin arresting the vengeful arm of 
Christ, whilst an angel standing on the ground drives off 
the pestilence in the shape of a hideous old hag. All 
around are kneeling monks of the order, a set of vulgar 
heads, depending upon their patron who has taken their 
business in hand. 

One day two shepherd boys were expressing their 
wishes. One exclaimed, on breaking a piece of dry 
bread, ' If I was king, I would eat nothing but fat ; ' the 
other, who was out of breath chasing hogs, exclaimed, ' If 
I was king, I would watch my beasts on horseback.' 
Now, if I were king, I would transport all these portraits 
and historical subjects to my closet, and avail myself of 
them in acquiring a knowledge of history. 

Painters of the second and third rank abound here ; 
namely, Schidone, Luca Giordano, Preti, and Josepin, 
all of them really great men. Any of the charming well- 
developed vigorous female figures in the works of Lan- 
franco, a pupil of Guido, leaves far in the background our 
contemporary art, so elaborate, so incomplete, so largely 
composed of abortive experiments or painful imitation. 
Their figures are instinct with life ; they have suitable, 
well-proportioned limbs; there is ease, force, and com- 
pleteness in the structure of the body and in its groupings 


Their heads are filled with colours and forms which flow 
ont naturally and copiously, and readily diffuse them- 
selves on their canvases. Luca Giordano, so traduced and 
so rapid in execution, is a genuine painter ; the animation 
of his figures, and his gracefully moulded forms, with his 
fcreshortenings and silk draperies, and the action and 
vivacity of his style, all announce the genius of his art, 
that is to say, his ability to please the eye He belongs 
to a different thinking stratum from ours; he w r as not 
nourished on philosophy and literature, and did not, like 
Delacroix, aspire to portray soul-tragedies, or, like De- 
camps, to express the outward world of nature, or, like 
so many others, to make pictures out of archaeology and 

The Danae, by Titian. This artist, certainly, had no 
aesthetic system ; all he cared for was to paint a splendid 
woman, a superb patrician's mistress. This head is 
quite vulgar — nothing beyond the voluptuous ; it is pro- 
bably that of some fisherman's daughter, willing to live 
idly, feed well, and wear pearl necklaces. But what flesh 
tones relieving on that white linen, and on that golden 
hair in such wild disorder about the throat ! What a per- 
fect hand projecting from that diamond bracelet, and what 
beautiful fingers and a yielding form ! There is another 
on a neighbouring canvas by an unknown artist su- 
perior in character, with the hand resting over the head, 
a flowering plant by her side, and in the distance a land- 
scape of blue mountains. She is grave, and her serious 
expression, like that of animals, is slightly tinged with 
melancholy. This is what ennobles this style of art 
Voluptuousness here is not indelicate, because it is 
perfectly natural; man does not lower himself to it, 
for he is on a level with it, while the grandeur of the 
scenery, coupled with the magnificence of the archi- 
tecture and a serene sky, throw around it the charms ot 


poetry. Man thus completes himself; it is one of th* 
five or six great developments of existence. This one 
does not suffer by comparison ; it is as it ought to be, 
finished, perfect; to reduce it, to purify it, would be to 
take away its essential beauty, to injure a rare flower 
the like of which no other civilisation ever produced ; one 
might as well insist on the tulip possessing a less ardent 
hue, or the rose a less exquisite fragrance. In front of 
this, and by an inferior hand, is a Venus and Adonis, the 
former being fat and ruddy, with cheeks and mouth 
somewhat overcharged with colour, and naked, except a 
strip of thin drapery, panting with desire and incapable of 
imagining anything nobler. And why not? TVho would 
wish her otherwise in this warm shadow, so deliciously 
imprisoning the amber tones of her fine form trembling 
in this warm light, palpitating like water in the glow of 
sunset, resting on that rich red mantle with that golden 
overturned vase by her side sending forth its brilliant 
reflections? Every great school of art is an existence in 
its own right, the same as every natural group of mor- 
tals. If systems suffer we do not. 



Conversations. — In the cafes, in the railway carriages, and 
in the drawing-rooms politics forms the substance of all 
discourse. Minds seem to be in a state of ebullition ; 
there is apparently the same ardour and vivacity, and the 
same convictions as with us in 1790. The newspapers, 
which are very numerous, widely diffused, and cheap, 
exhibit the same tone. For example : — 

I passed my first evening with a sculptor and a physician. 
According to these gentlemen, the brigands to the south 
(which prevents me from visiting Pactum) are simply 
brigands. They kill, burn, and rob. Brigandage is a 
profession, and a very good profession ; the) even practise 
it on people of their own party. If they are denounced, 
they set fire to the dwelling of the informer, and so ter- 
rorise over the villages. In addition to this, it requires, 
in such mountains and thickets, a hundred soldiers to 
catch one man. < Is it not a Vendee ? ' I ask. ' No ; the 
comparison is unworthy.' ' Nevertheless the country is 
Catholic, and the people are imaginative and fanatical ? ' 
' No : it is nothing but a land of brigands.' Thereupon 
my friends become excited ; they see only one idea, and 
are inflated, like our early revolutionists, by newspaper 
phrases: resentment is ready, and their hopes are infinite. 

According to them, again, the existing evil comes from 
France, which, in maintaining the Pope at Pome, up- 
holds a hotbed of intrigue. Rome is an abscess affect- 



ing the entire body. For sixty years France has mack 
immense progress in science and in general prosperity, 
but none in religion or morality; she is as low as she 
ever was in her subserviency to the clergy. Here comeg 
in a flood of eighteenth century phrases. 

' The struggle in Italy, they say, is between education 
and ignorance. The intelligent class is wholly liberal — 
the middle class, be it understood. The nobles are ob- 
stinate : look at the great aristocratic faubourg on the road 
to Herculaneum, all the houses of which are shut up. 
The populace of Naples, to which the Bourbons granted 
every license, are not content, and if the Austrians should 
return there would be violence ; but the true people, the 
artisans, the men who at bottom are honest and who 
labour, are slowly rallying. If there were four of these in 
the retrograde party the day after the Revolution, there 
are only two to-day. Liberty is producing its effect. 
The army, especially, is a school of union, instruction, and 
honour. The soldiers are learning to read and to write ; 
they hear people talk about Garibaldi, Victor Emmanuel, 
and love of country. Families are no longer made 
miserable, as formerly, by having their children torn from 
them. There are men of every class in the ranks ; sons 
of peasants march side by side with the sons of lawyers 
and of doctors. Military substitution is difficult : a man 
knowing how to read, write, and calculate, must furnish 
another knowing how to read, write, and calculate • the 
?on of a certain noble, unable to find a substitute of this 
kind, had to go himself. A great war like that of 1792 
is wanted to concentrate all these diversities through the 
confraternity of arms. Your nation is a great one,' they 
add; 'you have emancipated yourselves from slavery; 
you do not suffer the hundred thousand infamies and 
miseries of the Bourbon regime. You can comprehend 
how Ave also need our Revolution/ 


Another conversation with a man about thirty in a 
railway carriage, a cotton-broker. He is scouring the 
environs, and buying up crops to resell to the English 
the countiy round Vesuvius being now planted with 

According to him, ' they have in his line for three 
years past made astonishing progress. Under the Bour- 
bons it was impossible to do anything, even to sell or to 
buy. There was no commerce whatever ; they were 
averse to contracts with strangers, and discouraged the 
entry and export of merchandise. Now that we are free 
everything is different. The peasant, sure of earning 
money, sows and works, even in summer. At midday he 
rests, the heat being terrible ; but at evening and in the 
morning, during the supportable hours, he goes into the 
field. Under the Bourbons people did not and could not 
do but three things— drink, eat, and occasionally amuse 
themselves; there was complete prohibition in every 
other respect ; no study, no newspapers, and no discus- 
sion of religion or politics ; denunciations were perpetual, 
and imprisonments frightful ; one felt himself liable at 
any moment to the touch of the hand of an inquisitor. 
Let us have twenty years to ourselves, and you will see 
what a change there will be ! ' 

He had travelled in the South, and stated that 'the 
brigands form a sort of choiumuerie* but of a low order. 
The peasant is not very hostile to them, because he is 
ignorant and superstitious. Besides, it is impossible to 
penetrate the boschi where they conceal themselves, and 
Rome is constantly sending them recruits.' 

Everywhere brigands, nobody speaks of anything else. 
According to the Liberal newspapers, ' they are fit only for 

* In the war of La Vender, during the Revolution in France, the peasantry 
whoso sentiments were in favour of the Bourbons were called chouans, and 
organised attempts at insurrection chouanneries, — Th. 

f 2 


the galleys, while, according to the clerical journal^ 
'they are insurgent martyrs.' Desiring to form an 
opinion for myself, I read the diary of General Borges, a 
Spaniard and a Bourbonite, who recently traversed the 
kingdom of Naples from end to end, but who was taken 
and shot a few leagues from the Roman frontier. After 
reading this the following facts may be depended :n« 
Borges was a sort of Vendean, and he had with him some 
honest persons, for instance, his officers. He encounters 
a certain number of Bourbonites, shepherds, peasantry, 
and former soldiers, but a very small number. The 
bands supporting him, and holding the country before his 
landing, are composed of robbers and assassins, who 
repeatedly, on taking a town or hamlet, kill, pillage, and 
maltreat, and carry on war like savages. The national 
guard and the well-to-do people are everywhere against 

My hostess at Sorrento said to me, * Here and in the 
neighbourhood you will find three Piedmontese for one 
Bourbonite ; but over there, to the South, there are three 
Bourbonites for one Piedmontese.' All this is easily 

Here is another conversation at CastelLunare, this 
time with a retired subordinate officer; he is a fanatic, 
and speaks with the air of one trying to make converts. 
He gays tf that priests are the authors of all the trouble 5 
that tn France they are pious and honest, but that here 
they are robbers and assassins, and that the head-quarters 
of their conspiracies is at Rome. He cites the famous 
General Manhes under Murat, who, in order to starve out 
brigands, forbade, under penalty of death, a morsel oi 
bread being taken outside the towns, and on a priest 
leaving to take the host to a dying man, had him shot, 
col santissimo nella mano.' He showed me the way to a 
celebrated chapel, and, on my entering, shrugged bia 


shoulders in a significant manner. Is it not curious, 
after a lapse of sixty years, to encounter Jacobins ! 

The more I read the newspapers, the more I talk with 
people, the more do I find the resemblance striking. We 
also, at first, had only a liberal middle-class ; the national 
property had to be sold, and a foreign invasion take 
place in order to rally our peasanty to the Revolution. 
We also battled with an intestine insurrection, and 
witnessed a civil war in the most ignorant and most 
religious section of the country. We also improvised 
schools, a national guard, an army, and legal tribunals. 
We also beheld nobles emigrate with the king, and, later, 
seclude themselves sullenly on their estates. Here it is 
the small edition of a great work ; but the new volume is 
not yet stitched — its sheets hold together badly. Before 
it can acquire consistency like ours it must undergo a ten 
years' grinding process under heavy burdens, or, in other 
words, dread the interference of strangers. 

An evening with Magistrates, Professors, and Literary 
men. — The greatest obstacle here in the way of the 
Govermnent is the large number of privileged persons 
maintained under the Bourbons, and who are now out of 
place. For example, there was a large manufactory of 
iron fabrics, which cost the Government two millions a 
year, and which yielded nothing; the workmen had 
gradually been replaced by sons of officers or by employes 
receiving five francs a day as locksmiths, overseers, &c, 
and who only came at the end of the month to receive 
their pay, a small number making their appearance in the 
bureaux between the hours of eleven and three. The 
Revolution occurred, and their wages were stopped. They 
made a great noise, however, and were paid. The 
manufactory is found to be too costly, and it is put up at 
auction. Nobody appears to bid. Finally, a bold specu- 
lator agrees to take it for ten years, and pay a rent of 


48,000 ducats. Assembling the employes and pretended 
workmen, the new master says to them, f I will pay you 
as formerly, but on condition that you do the work of a 
full day.' This is greeted with shouts and reclamations. 
' Very well, then, work as you please, and I will pay you 
by the hour.' This is followed by a riot. The bersaglieri 
are welcomed with stones, to which they retort with 
shot Since that time order is restored, and the 
manufactory begins to operate, the famished sinecurista 
meanwhile being furious. One of these said to me, 'Look 
at this miserable Piedmontese Government ! I held a 
position of 1,200 francs a year, which left me free the 
whole day, so that I could attend to business in another 
place at a bankers. Now that I am married and have 
two children, these rascals suppress it ! ' So was it in 
1791 with the household officers of the king, queen, 
dauphin, and princes, the menins (foster-brothers), captains, 
masters of the hounds, &c. 

King Ferdinand, like Louis XV., meddled with State 
supplies. His effective army consisted of ninety-five 
thousand men ; a hundred thousand were put in the 
budget, and he appropriated the surplus to himself. 
Besides this he reserved for himself, his favourites, and 
his secretaries, the right of making appointments : there 
were consequently two sorts of office-holders, the fat one, 
who came monthly to the bureau to get his pay, and the 
lean one, who performed the service, and got a quarter of 
the remuneration. 

These people are all greatly irritated, which is not 
strange. The priests likewise are in no better humour, and 
they have no reason to be. They have lost credit, and 
no longer take the wall. Three years ago there were so 
many monks and ecclesiastics at Naples, that a lady in 
the house in which I lodged, in a frequented street, stood 
at a window and counted a hundred per hour passing it 


Almost every family numbered one son an ecclesiastic 
To-day they are not so numerous. After the E evolution 
they concealed themselves ; but now they are again ap 
pearing, in companies of two or three, going out and 
taking their usual promenades. They think that the 
Government wants to starve them, and that in sequel 
trating convent property it declared itself their enemy * 
and they consequently are working against it, especially 
through the women. 

There are fourteen thousand men in the national guard 
of Naples, which for a city numbering five hundred 
thousand inhabitants, is not a great number. They pre- 
tend that they might have double this number, which again 
is not a great deal. They state that the lower class is 
enormously large, and that it cannot yet be trusted with 
arms ; it counts for nothing, and has yet to be instructed ; 
besides, there is nothing to fear from it, as it is not capable 
of erecting barricades; three years ago, in the absence of 
all other authority, the national guard was amply sufficient 
to maintain order. The same state of things exists in the 
municipalities ; the captains prefer to enrol only a few 
men ; they do not accept half-way vagabonds, or those 
compromised with the former Government. Besides, the 
peasants are all armed, and walk about with guns on their 
shoulders — an old custom, the effect of the vendetta and 
of inveterate habits of brigandage. When Victor Em- 
manuel came ti ey all crowded around him thus accoutred, 
m liich affords substantial proof of their not feeling them- 
selves conquered or oppressed. A foreign ambassador 
present on that occasion remarked, c Italy is made.' 

I have to return to the national guard of fourteen 
thousand men. These figures simply indicate a govern* 
ing bourgeoisie, and justify, up to a certain point, the 
declaration of its adversaries ; such, for instance, as that oi 
a fanatical, provincial Neapolitan marquis at Paris who, 


in my presence, fifteen days ago, charged the national 

guard with being a coterie, calling them traitors and in- 
struments of the Piedmontese, and declaring that both the 
nobles and the people, save a few deserters, were now 
bending beneath a yoke and indignantly murmuring. 
The reply to this is to make me read the clerical gazettes 
sold at Naples and in the streets, which repeat the same 
charges, only in stronger terms, thereby proving that 
nobody is gagged. Again, the garrison of Naples is six 
thousand men. Is this sufficient to keep down a city of 
five hundred thousand disposed to rebel? As to the 
means of gaining over the peasantry, they state that f the 
Government does not possess, as the Convention did, an 
enormous amount of national property to sell to them; 
that, since the first Napoleon, the feudal regime has been 
abolished throughout the kingdom, and that already a 
great number of peasants have become proprietors. 
Meanwhile the confiscated property of the convents is to 
be disposed of, and the sale of this will rally to the sup- 
port of the Revolution numerous purchasers ; besides 
which, they can depend on new clearings and productions, 
and on the general increase of public wealth. The country 
is of marvellous fertility : the soil sometimes yields seven 
crops in a season, grapes, grains, vegetables, oranges, nuts, 
&c. For two years past the cultivation of cotton has in- 
creased on all sides, and the profits have been enormous ; 
instead of eight or ten ducats the quintal, it has amounted 
to thirty-two and forty. Peasants now at the cafes pulj 
dollars out of their pockets; they pay borrowed sums 
and mortgages; they begin to purchase land, which is a 
passion with them, and in some places one crop has 
proved sufficient to pay for the soil acquired. It has been 
remarked that for a long time brigandage is less frequent, 
and that there is more of labour in districts where small 
hirms abound ; and in this view of things Murat legia* 


lated. Accordingly they are now beginning in various 
places to alienate and partition land. Add to this the 
mortmain tenures before mentioned, the influx of foreign 
capital, and that manufactures are being established, and 
newspapers diffused; also, as experience shows, that a 
Neapolitan learns to read and write in three months, no 
race being more subtle, more prompt in seizing on 
and comprehending ideas of all kinds. The peasant 
enriched and enlightened will become a Liberal. 

One of the company present gives a recent conversa- 
tion with a soldier. This man had served under the 
Bourbons. When Garibaldi landed with his little band, 
a report spread that he was accompanined with sixty 
thousand men, whereupon, with the consent of their 
captain, each member of the company laid down his arms 
and accoutrements and proceeded tranquilly homewards. 
On Victor Emmanuel being proclaimed, our friend en- 
countered this man, and made him ashamed of himself, and, 
indicating him as a suitable recruit, had him re-enlisted. 
A year expired, and he met him again. This time the 
man is overjoyed and full of gratitude ; he has a martial 
air, and he exclaims, < Ah, your Excellence, how happy 
I am ! I have been to Milan, Turin, and a good many 
other cities ! And I know how to read ! * 

€ And to write ? ' responds our friend. 

' Not very well yet ; but I can write my name/ 

' Here/ says the gentleman, ( is a piastre ; and when 
you shall have learned to write you shall have another.' 

This man was transformed by military service; it 
disciplines a man, and creates habits of cleanliness, and 
instils into him sentiments of honour and love of country^ 
Our friend, addressing another, remarked, ' You are 
going now to fight for the king.' € No/ he replied, not 
for king, but for country: there is a parliament now/ 
They read newspapers, costing them a cent., and employ 


the high-sounding terms which are often so vapid and so 
abused, but at this moment so true and noble and of such 
powerful effect. Two Italians in a railroad carriage with 
me, on coming in sight of Naples after five years' absence, 
remarked one to the other, c They are improving ; they 
are almost a moral people.' 

They require time; time will consolidate all things, 
even the finances : at present these are the great sore. 
Last year the deficit was a million a day. They will 
improve gradually as the nation produces and consumes 
more. During the year just closed Naples disposed of cot- 
ton amounting to a hundred millions, and this year the crop 
will be still more valuable. Custom duties in the south 
used to produce very little, as smugglers had their own 
way ; but now other officers have been installed, and an 
inspector, a brother of one of our friends, states that the 
increase this year will amount to seven hundred thousand 

There is another sign of pacification. The Government 
has removed the Madonna boxes from the corners of the 
streets ; these were often found in the morning marked 
with dagger-blows, given either by the Mazzinians or the 
Bourbonites, and they have accordingly been deposited in 
neighbouring churches. In certain quarters the women 
assemble and wring their hands, and indulge in lamenta- 
tions, but in others this step is regarded favourably, for 
they were often desecrated by profanities and pollutions 
against the wall beneath them. 

An interesting experiment is being tried here, and one 
worthy of close attention, that of a revolution less violent 
than our own, and less affected by foreign intervention ; 
the same at bottom, since it involves the transformation 
of a feudal into a modern community, but differing in 
this respect, that the transformation goes on in a closed 
retort and without explosion ; it is true, however. 


that an Austrian bayonet would shatter the retort in 

The same activity and exuberance is apparent in science 
and religion as in politics. The university contains ten 
thousand students and sixty professors. A student's 
lodging costs sixty francs per month, and he lives on 
macaroni, fruits, and vegetables ; people in the country 
eat but little, a^id necessaries are consequently cheap. 
German erudition and methods prevail. Hegel is read 
with facility. M. Vera, his most zealous and best accre- 
dited interpreter, has a chair here. M. Spaventa is trying 
to discover an Italian philosophy, and shows Gioberti to 
be a sort of Italian Hegel. You thus see amour-propre 
and national prepossessions penetrating even into the 
realm of pure reason. Yesterday a newspaper warmly 
commended a modern Italian picture exhibited in the 
Musee, and complained of the Italians for not sufficiently 
admiring their own artists, and of committing the weakness 
of too greatly admiring foreign art. All this is naive, but 

Young people and the public generally take great 
interest in these researches. Naples is the land of Vico, 
and has always possessed philosophical aptitude. Lately 
a great crowd thronged to an exposition of the c Pheno- 
menology' of Hegel : they translate his technical termg 
and abstractions without any difficulty — and such ab- 
stractions! The system spreads from the centre to 
all its diverse branches. The law course is especially 
Btrong, and arranged wholly according to the German 
manner. The students are as yet confined to the formulas 
and classifications of Hegel, but the professors are begin- 
ing to overstep these limits, and to pursue their own 
methods, each in his own fashion and according to his intel* 
lectual capacity. Ideas are still vague and floating, 
everything being in a state of formation. 


Meanwhile one may question whether their food is well 

selected, and if fresh, minds can assimilate such aliment; it 

is tough, ill-cooked meat : they feast on it with youthful 

appetites as the scholastics of the twelfth century 

devoured Aristotle, in spite of the disproportion and the 

danger of indigestion and even of strangling. A Culli- 
es o o o 

vated foreigner who has resided here for the past tea 
years replies to me that the most difficult reasoning and 
all German dissertations are comprehended naturally, but 
that French books are much less so. If they read Vol- 
taire's romauces, they find but little amusement in them; 
they do not feel his grace, and regard his irony simply as 
a means of evading censure. M. Renan, whom they 
admire infinitely, seems to them timid : c Why,' they ask, 
' does he take so many precautions ? he is a delicate restorer 
of Christianity.' His finished art, his tact, his sentiment, 
so poetic and comprehensive, escapes them entirely ; they 
have translated his book, and ten thousand copies have 
been sold at Naples ; they would consider it a privilege 
to see and to handle his autograph ; but their admira- 
tion is for the combatant and not the critic. Hence the 
success of ' Le Maudit',* which title figures in the win- 
dows of every bookstore in Naples. They are delighted 
with heavy artillery of this description. They demand 
a vigorous attack, a bold exhibition of facts : they are 
avenging themselves of their former slavery. 

There are no good periodicals : the fashion of penny 
papers prevails, and the editorial standard is in keeping. 
The telegraphic news of the morning is the first thing, and 
if enforced with a gross tirade all the better. They sub- 
ject our French journals to this standard of criticism; 
they do not appreciate the quiet eloquence, concise style, 
and delicate irony of Prevost-Paradol, much preferring 

* A well-known romance, purporting to narrate the experience of a Jesuit 
priest, and in which the practices of the Romish Church are exposed. — Tb. 


the premiers Paris of the democratic organs. Let us beat 
in mind our own journals of 1789 — their declamation, 
high-sounding terms, and empty rhetoric. 

Whilst breakfasting yesterday at a cafe I observed in one 
of the penny papers a curious feuilleton, consisting of the 
fourth lecture of Professor Ferrari on the ' Philosophy of 
History/ in which ideas derived from the early investi- 
gations of Giannone in relation to religious history are 
expounded. According to Giannone, the early Christians 
were not believers in paradise ; their fundamental dogma 
was the resurrection of the body : up to the resurrection 
the dead remained in a sort of state of passivity and ex- 
pectancy. Theology, gradually developing, placed dead 
believers apart ; soon St. Augustine awards them a pre- 
liminary semi-beatitude, and under Pope St. Gregory they 
ascend at once into heaven. Ideas like these, so freely 
explored and so widely popularised, must evidently pro- 
duce a great effect. 

The Jesuit College is now under the ban of Victor 
Emmanuel. In the street you see scholars belonging to 
various establishments, no longer led by a priest but by a 
sergeant. On this transformation, and on the increase 
of sources of public education, their strongest hopes 
are built. Fifty-eight public district-schools have been 
established in Naples, and one in each principal town. 
There are a great many readers amongst the middle class, 
All the interesting and learned productions of Germany^ 
England, and France may be found at Detken's book- 
Btore; all the best worhs on physiology, law, language, and 
especially philosophy, find purchasers : his store is a sort 
of literary and scientific club-room. To converse freely 
and on all-important subjects is for them the highest 
gratification. ' Three years ago,* they say, € even with 
closed doors we dared not speak. Had we been seen 
collected together, a spy would have tracked us at once. 1 

ra Naples. 

They are now in all the ardour of production and of re- 
aaissance. A strong force is excavating Pompeii, and the 
new discoveries are published in magnificent form, illus- 
trated with polychromatic drawings. It is a pleasure to 
look at their line Italian heads and expressive eyes, and 
underneath a certain circumspect air, to detect the ardent 
glow within ; they openly or tacitly express a pro- 
found joy, like that of a man on first moving his limbs 
after having been a long time confined in prison. In 
respect to ideas they do not lack suitable preparation; 
already under the Bourbons two or three booksellers made 
fortunes by smuggling and paying custom-house officials 
and inspectors, concealing their books under their beds, 
and disposing of them at quintuple rates. In this way 
excellent libraries were formed even in the provinces, for 
instance, that of the father of the poet Leopardi. This 
or that retired bourgeois or petty noble studied, not 
assuredly for fame or profit (because it was dangerous to 
be a savant), but to learn. They acquired accordingly 
much and quickly. I saw a young man twenty-one years 
old thus labouring by himself and for himself, who knew 
Sanscrit, Persian, and a dozen other tongues ; who was 
conversant with Hegel, Spencer, Schopenhauer, Mill, and 
Carlyle, and with current French and German produc- 
tions relating to law, philosophy, linguistic study, and 
exegesis. His erudition and comprehension are those of 
a man of forty. He is now going to complete his education 
by passing a year each at Paris and Berlin. These aro 
noble germs ; I trust there are many of them, and that they 
aro. increasing. But such achievements, and a delight in 
the conflict of ideas, are not all ; it is necessary to produce, 
to carve out one's own way ; for without invention there is 
no true culture. Several of my friends are somewhat 
concerned on this point ; they regard this ebullition as 
superficial, viewing this new outburst of intellectual 


activity as a kind of operatic display, a brilliant fairy 
Bpectacle to which speculative brains are abandoning 
themselves. 'A few erudites/ they say, ( import and 
accumulate mountains of foreign material : a curious 
crowd gathers around their plans, studying fac-similes 
and imitations of foreign models? Who is to conceive 
and execute the national monument I ' 



Streets, Promenades, and Theatres. — Most of the women 
are ordinary, but there are a large number of handsome, 
genteel, well-dressed young men. A friend who has 
travelled over Italy states that one encounters people in 
quite small towns who have dined on a bit of bread and 
cheese, but who wear new gloves, and seem apparently to 
have just left Dusautoy's establishment It is a universal 
rule that the more a man thinks of the women the better 
he dresses. 

Many among them have heads like those of Correggio, 
with a tranquilly voluptuous air, and a smile constantly 
blissful and serene. It is very pleasing, and it enables 
you to comprehend their amatory characteristics. When 
they address a woman this smile becomes more cap- 
tivating and tenderer ; there is no French piquancy or 
petulance in it ; they seem to be enraptured, to relish 
with the keenest zest every word that drops from her 
mouth, one by one, like so many drops of honey. The 
light popular songs, the national music, and the operas of 
Cimerosa express the same sentiment. 

Amongst the lower classes every young girl of fifteen 
has a lover ; every young man of seventeen has one like- 
wise, the passion with both being strong and enduring 
Both intend marriage, and wait as long as is requisite* 


which is until the young swain can purchase the principal 
article of furniture, an immense square bed. 

Observe this, however, that he does not in the interval 
lead the life of a Trap;; 1st. No people are more given to 
pleasure, none are mor^ rrecocious ; at thirteen years of 
age a child is a man. 

A young girl stands „* her window, while a young man 
passes and repasses, and stands in the porte-cochere, both 
making signs to each other. In the street I live in is a 
certain window, half open ; the lover in a vehicle ascends 
and descends the street thirty or forty times every after- 
noon, and then goes off to promenade on the Villa Reale, 
You may ask a young girl without impropriety if she has 
a lover. 6 Certainly I have, otherwise I should be very 
ugly or very disagreeable.' *But do you love him? 1 
c Yes : do you suppose I am heartless ? ' 

Yesterday I witnessed an exact representation of these 
characteristics in the popular little theatre of San Carlino. 
The two female lovers were genuine Neapolitan grisettes, 
one piquant, and the other grassotta ; both being vulgar, 
tempting, and extremely voluble and deafening in in- 
sults when their tongues were loosened. Love, amidst 
these popular weaknesses, flourishes like a rose rooted 
in cracked and broken pottery. A sweeter smile than 
that of Annarella when she finally accepts Andrea could 
not be imagined. Her beautiful teeth, her parted lips, 
her large eyes beaming with tender compliance and 
expanding with felicity, her entire being overflows with 
delight. There is no finesse or prudery as in France — ■ 
nothing lackadaisical. He kisses her hand, yet he is a 
man of the people, almost of the lower class ; but he has 
loved her for three years. Another pretty action follows, 
both tender and familiar : he places her hand on his head 
to take from it a lock of his hair. 

It is impossible for these people to think of anything 


else : love is the dominant idea ; it is inspired both by 
the climate and the landscape. This is easily understood 
and, better still, felt as soon as one has passed an hour on 
the sea. From the bark, on the way to Pausilippo, 
villas and palaces are visible, extending down into the 
glowing waves ; some have foundations under which the 
waters flow. Terraced gardens descend to the brink 
filled with the olive, the orange, the Indian fig, and fes- 
toons of clinging vines that conceal the nudity of the 
rocks. On the heights appear the round tops of the 
Italian pine, relieving black against the bright clear sky. 
Naples recedes, and as it becomes more remote seems to be 
a vast white hive. Vesuvius expands and displays its 
amplitude. Blue covers all ; the sea, the sky, and the 
earth are simply azure ; and the delicate gradations of its 
tints only render this concert of colour the more delect- 
able. The mountains resemble in hue the throat of a 
turtle-dove, the sea is of the colour of a silken robe, and 
the firmament a pale velvety texture sparkling with 
luminousness. Alone, afar off, a group of white sail3 
appears like a bevy of sea-gulls. A light breeze kisses 
the cheeks, and the bark dances. You banish thought; 
you are only sensible of the balmy caressing atmosphere, 
and of the gentle swelling of the waves. 

These amours are not always of a placid type. Day 
before yesterday I saw a girl descend from a vehicle with 
three large gashes on her cheeks, bestowed upon her by 
her lover, in order to prevent her from pleasing a rival. 
It often happens that a girl thus scarred espouses the 
offender and exonerates him before the magistrate. 
1 It's my fault ; he was jealous ; I provoked him.' It 
seems as if their nerves were stimulated by the irregulari- 
ties of the climate, and that they improvise blows aa 
well as other matters. There are a good many unpreme* 


dilated murders of this class : the punishment is twenty 
years in prison. 

In all things with these people the first impression is 
too violent; scarcely is the trigger touched when the 
explosion takes place; the effect is terrible, but more 
frequently grotesque. Hawkers with their merchandise 
resemble lunatics. This morning, during my breakfast., 
a vendor of knickknacks expended more breath and ges- 
ture in half an hour than any two comic actors in two or 
three months. He shoved his bric-a-brac into the hands 
of the crowd, blew shell trumpets, balanced toy watches 
in his hands to test their weight, and pretended to listen to 
their seeming tick-tick, assuming a lachrymose whining 
tone of voice in order to get an extra grano ; he put on 
airs of admiration before dolls; all of which puffing and 
blowing I am satisfied was as much a pleasure to him as 
of any advantage to his traffic ; it is one of the ways for 
discharging surplus steam. Two cabmen get into a 
quarrel and seem ready to burst ; a minute after, and all 
is forgotten. The love of tinselry proceeds from the 
same source. Mules are decked with tufts of colour, 
vehicles with complicated brass ornaments, and hearses 
with borders of gilt ; women cannot dispense with gold 
chains, and poor girls place over their rags plaid shawls 
and scarlet handkerchiefs figured with flowers. The 
imagination thus sparkles and explodes without. 

Accordingly things are quickly and easily done, and 
without timidity or awkwardness. My Castellamare 
coachman was an orator ; the only difficulty I had was 
to make him keep quiet. An ordinary woman converses 
with you, gives you advice, and corrects your pronuncia- 
tion ; she feels herself on familiar terms with you, and 
not at all inferior. Sometimes demonstrations of respect 
are made, but they are on the surface ; such a thing is 
incompatible with such a character. Man is too much at 


his ease* too active, to feel embarrassed or constrained 
before anybody or anything. 

The people have many good qualities. Two stranger? 
residing here, one of whom is the superintendent of a 
factory, praises them after having employed them for ten 
years. They are passionately fond of their children Gu 
the father's return from fishing, the mother brings them 
to him, and he lifts them in his arms, kisses and caressed 
them, and makes all sorts of faces at them They love 
all children, and not merely their own offspring ; they 
are affected by their beauty and innocence and pretty 
ways ; it is poetry, and they feel it. When Monsieur 
B~— ~~ is absent, the workmen of the establishment 
caress and sympathise with his children, and sometimes 
with tears in their eyes. 

Most households have a troop of children in them, as 
many as six or eight, and even a dozen. They do not 
avoid having children ; on the contrary they are glad to 
have them : those who die young become cherubs in para- 
dise. As for the others, their parents rely wholly on an 
animal guarantee. A donkey-driver of Salerno possessing 
twelve, and for whom some one expressed sympathy, 
replied, ( I trust I shall have tour more.' An orange 
costs a centime, a shirt is a dress, and three-fourths of the 
year one can sleep in the open air. They marry quite 
young. A man at twenty, even in the bourgeois class, 
takes a wife. There are a great many love-marriages i 
girls without a penny find husbands. People of social 
position marry work-girls: an Italian grisette finds no 
difficulty in appearing as a lady. 

The lower classes are very temperate; a little bread 
and an onion suffices for their dinner. A certain old 
labourer who had made a gentleman of his son lives on 
a grano of bread per diem (four centimes). They work 
•11 day, sometimes until midnight, excepting the siesta 


between noon and three o'clock. Shoemakers are seen 
plying their awls from morning to night in the open air. 
The tinsmiths, who occupy entire streets back of the port, 

uever stop their hammering. Mr. B required fifty 

iromen to clean cotton ; two hundred and fifty rushed in 
over the porter's body at the door. They do less work, 
however, than French workmen or northern Italians, an 
overseer being necessary to keep them at it. 

These people are brilliant, capricious, enthusiastic, un- 
balanced, natural. Under ordinary conditions they are 
amiable and even gentle ; but when in peril or aroused in 
times of revolution and fanatical excitement, they go to 
the extreme of folly and frenzy. 

San Carlo, II Trovatore. — There are six rows of boxes 
in this theatre ; the house is magnificent ; the light is not 
strong, not dazzling. The science of humouring the eye, 
and indeed all the senses, is well understood here ; they 
do not heap the audience together as at the ' Grand 
Opera,' or at the ' Italiens ' in Paris. Its corridors are 
wide, and a vacant space extends around the parterre, 
allowing one to circulate about freely; the seats are 
elevated several feet so as to permit the passage of a 
current of fresh air. In other respects the house is like 

provincial theatre, old-fashioned, and only tolerably 
clean ; there is no display of dress, although Titiens is the 
prima-donna, and the prices are doubled. The scenery, 
except one scene, is contemptible ; the ballet scenes are 
ridiculous ; hell, for instance, with its yellow rocks, appears 
as if it were furnished with the Utrecht-velvet stock of an 
hotel garni. The tenor is a spasmodic buffoon, a sort of 
ugly Farnese Hercules, wearing one of those old chin- 
clasping casques which is only met with amongst classic 
rubbish. The basso and * Acuzena' are of equal merit. The 
costumes are antiquated; they regard the middle ages ar we 
regarded them under the empire — look at the troubadours 


on the clocks in our provincial inns. Titiens alone ia 
becomingly dressed. All sang false, and the altitude of 
the audience was amusing ; the slightest dubious note 
called forth a torrent of whistles, cat-calls, and cock-crow- 
ing, and a moment after, if the rest of the air proved satis- 
factory, there followed the most deafening applause. Some 
of the men in the parquette hummed the airs aloud, and 
even the orchestra score, and very accurately. The 
people outside the door could also do this. The female 
wandering minstrels of the street have shrill voices, but 
they sing true. The Neapolitans are genuine musicians 
comprehending all the shades, successes, and faults of 
music, as we in Paris comprehend the subtleties of wit 
and humour. 

The principal danseuse is c Signora ' Legrain, a French 
lady ; while the ballet is much worse than in Paris, consist- 
ing of the same contortions, the same agility, and the same 
spider-like capering. All that sustains the ballet with 
us is here wanting, there being neither taste, elegance, 
nor freshness ; we, at least, have scenery equal to pictures, 
costumes that delight a poetic eye, and armour that 
would fix the attention of an antiquary. Certainly, our 
centralisation, which is so detrimental to us, provides us 
with all superior things like opera, literature, conversation, 
and the cuisine. 

San Carlino. — This evening the tf Menechmes ' is pei^ 
formed, arranged a la Napolitaine. French pieces, trans- 
lated, abound throughout Italy, but in this case the 
reproduction is pure invention ; its characters, manners, 
dialogue, and language are peculiar to Naples, and are of 
a popular order. 

This theatre is emphatically so , it is a scirt of cave 
packed with grisettes, mechanics, and shopkeepers in 
old velvet vests and caps ; the heat is intense, the odour 
intolerable, and the fleas are constantly crawling upon 


one's legs. But the actors play well ; they are easy, and 
show great familiarity with the boards, which is not sur- 
prising, considering that the same piece is played twice a 
day, once in the morning, and again in the evening. 

Some of the scenes are admirably given, for instance, 
that of a lover discarded by his mistress : here is no 
display of amour-propre, but a genuine, despairing outburst 
of mingled indignation and passionate entreaty. A 
Frenchman in a similar position would show pique. 
Almost all are admirable mimics, especially the innkeeper 
and his wife. Their features play incessantly; twenty 
expressions go and come in a minute, and each so true 
and complete, that, with a little plaster, you might take 
a model of it. 

Its wit is gross— decidedly Rabelaisian. A father 
states that his wife has brought him twins : ( Very good 
news,' replied Policlrinelle ; ' your neighbour's sow has just 
littered seven.' Drollery and fantastic passages abound 
in this comedy ; others that I have read remind one of 
the imaginative extravagance of the grand buffooneries of 
Aristophanes. Polichinelle is a scamp — a flatterer, a 
gourmand, lachrymose, vicious, and witty ; he is a droll 
fellow, not bad at heart, but living on his neighbours, and 
amusing himself in turning his talents to good account. 
A philosophic moralist I met here states that this character 
is a typical portrait of the Neapolitan such as the Bour- 
bons made him ; he is a spoiled Greek,* singularly in- 
telligent, adroit, and malicious, but always on the side of 
evil, demoralised by a government that robbed him, by 
judges that allowed parties to suborn witnesses, by open 
corruption in high places, and by the conviction, constantly 
enforced, that honesty is not the best policy, but, on the 
contrary, is prejudicial. If the people now become honest 

* Grseculus. 


it will be through interest rather than through a quick- 
ened conscience. That which still masters them is 
obsequiousness, suppleness, the art of avoiding and 
diverting obstacles, an aversion to the use of force, a 
talent for talking and jesting, and a disposition to be 
parasite, pander, and servant. By the side of these, as 
formerly with the Greeks, the Italians of the North are 
blockheads. "When the Piedmontese arrived and sought 
to regulate administrative matters, they were very eager 
and smiling, and duped them without difficulty. Again, 
like the Greeks, they show remarkable aptitude for 
philosophy, which is apparent even in the common schools 
among the young peasants. In short, like the Greeks, 
they divine everything, and instruct themselves without 
masters. My guide at Pompeii acquired English and 
French in two years without assistance from anyone, 
through conversations with travellers, asking and writing 
down in an old grey paper copy-book the words he was 
not familiar with. ' I tell you our weak points,' added 
my moralising friend, ' but the foundation is good. There 
is a rich intelligence — only a little too rich; with us the 
intellect overtops all other traits. In order to develop 
them tell me which government is best, that of a despot 
which imprisons the wise, or that of a bourgeoisie which 
founds schools ¥ 



Worn Naples to San Germano: March 2, 1864, — 
As far as Capua the country is a garden. Green crop* 
as fresh as in May cover the plain. Every fifteen feet a 
branchless elm sustains a tortuous vine, the lateral shoots 
of which extend to another trunk, and convert the field 
into one vast arbour. Above this brown trellis of vines 
and the whitened branches of the elms, rise Italian pines 
with their dark spreading cupolas, as if of a foreign and 
superior race. 

The Volturno is an ordinary yellowish stream, and 
Capua a less than ordinary city. But how luxuriant the 
country around ! Vegetation rises to a man's height, and 
the atmosphere is so mild that we can leave the windows of 
the carriage continually open. You think of the ancient 
Samnites on seeing the rugged range of mountains rising 
behind the city. What could prevent the wolves oi 
these gorges and heights from seizing their prey on 
the plain ? Such a city was a quarry to thern. You 
recall the passage of Livy describing that striking scene 
of southern earnestness and emphasis when the deputies, 
prostrate suppliants in the vestibule of the curia, with 
tears in their eyes, delivered over to the Romans their 
persons and property, ' the city of Capua, the inhabitants 
of the Campagna, their fields, the temples of their gods, 
and all things human and divine.' What zeal for the 


Slate, what political solicitude on the part of the humblesi 
artisan, what an inevitable confusion of public and private 
interests, when from the city walls they beheld maraud- 
ing bands of shepherds approach similar to our modern 
brigands, and when all assembled weekly in the great 
temple to deliberate on the best means of avoiding pillage, 
murder, and slavery ! Never can we comprehend the 
passion of the ancient for his city ! 

These mountains are almost bare ; they are rugged and 
strewn with rocks, seeming to be the ruins of a con- 
vulsion, as if their sides and summits had been shattered 
by an earthquake, and their riven masses scattered 
around in fragments. Precipitous peaks rise into the 
air like knife-blades. There are no trees, only a few 
tenacious cowering bushes, and some mosses, and fre- 
quently nothing. One mountain spreads out its ragged 
triangle like a mass of scoria ; others rise up seemingly 
rent asunder in a furious conflagration, erect, like mum- 
mies of ashes surrounded by their wan companions. The 
highest on the horizon are capped with snow. From 
these issued the Samnites, the adventurers of the ver 
sacrum, wearing goat-skins and cords twisted about their 
feet, their beards untrimmed, and with fixed black eyes, 
like the herdsmen now in sight. A residence in California 
or New Zealand is necessary, if one would appreciate at 
the present day the picture of an antique city. 

The sky is as fine as in June, equally as warm and 
glowing. The mountains on either side are of a simple 
grave blue,* extending one behind the other like the steps 
©t an amphitheatre purposely arranged to please the eye. 
A delicate haze, a glowing transparent veil envelopes 
their grand forms, and above them floats story upon 
story of snowy clouds. 

During the night it rained violently, and labourers of 

* Csruleus. 


every description are now engaged mending the roads 
washed by the torrents. For the first time I meet with 
some really beautiful women. They are quite ragged, 
and you would not touch them even with gloves on, but a 
few paces off they resemble statues. Being compelled to 
carry water, mortar, and other burdens on their heads, they 
display the erect attitude and dignified bearing of cane- 
phorae. A piece of thick white linen covers the head, 
which, falling on the sides, protects it from the sun's rays. 
On this white ground the warm complexion and the 
black eyes produce an admirable effect. Several possess 
regular features; one, slightly pale, has a face as elegaDt 
as one of Da Vinci's. The chemise folds carelessly about 
her neck above the corsets and seems expressly arranged 
to be painted, while the skirt falls in natural folds, because 
the figure stands upright. 

As evening approaches, the mountains to the eastward 
became more beautiful. They are not too near nor too 
grand, not overwhelming like the Pyrenees, or melan- 
choly like the Cevennes. Between them extends a broad 
fertile Campagna ; they are wholly decorative, and serve as 
a middle distance to the picture. They are equally per- 
fect in nobleness and in simplicity. Tints of violet, blue, 
and mauve insensibly steal over them. Several have the 
appearance of watered-silk robes with their broken folds ; 
their steep crags and naked promontories at this distance 
are only lustrous plaits. Towns and villages on the 
heights form spots of white, and the azure of the sky is so 
pure and powerful, and yet so soft, that I do not remember 
tc have seen a more beautiful colour. 

Monte Casino. — I am acquainted with one of the supe- 
riors }f Monte Casino, and I stopped there on passing. 
You are familiar with the name of the principal and most 
ancient of the Benedictine Abbeys. It belongs to the 
sixth century, and is erected on the site of a temple ot 


Apollo : earthquakes have repeatedly destroyed it, the 
edifice now standing being of the seventeenth century. 
From this centre monastic life spread over barbarous 
Europe in the darkest period of the middle ages. What- 
ever remained of ancient civilisation reposed thus in re- 
mote corners, within a monastic shell, like the chrysalis 
in its covering. Here monks copied manuscripts to the hum of litanies, while northern savages traversed 
the valleys, gazing on the rocky summits and stony walls 
protecting the last of these asylums. They forced its 
gates many times, but later, when converted, their heads 
bowed in superstitious terror before its venerated relics. 
A king whose history is painted on one of the walls, abdi- 
cated his crown here in order to assume the garb of a 

The ascent to the convent begins at St. Germano. 
This is a miserable little town, situated on a mountain- side, 
its steep flinty streets being filled with ragged children 
and stray hogs. The house-doors stand open : a dark 
porch sharply intersects the crude white wall, while the 
furniture and household implements within, dimly discer- 
nible though the teeming shadows, flicker with passing 
reflections. On the right, on the top of a singular mass of 
blackened stones, the dislocated mountain bears the rem- 
nant of a feudal castle. On the left, a zigzag road winds 
for an hour and a half up to the summit. Bushes of 
mastic and tufts of grass glimmer in the crevices of the 
rocks, and lizards dart about amongst the stones at every 
step. Higher up appear oaks, box, broom, and euphor- 
bia, whatever of winter vegetation that is able to subsist 
amongst crumbling crags and on stony sterile breasts. 

Looking off into space you see an army ot mountains, 
nothing but mountains, the sole inhabitants, and range 
after range absorbing the entire landscape. One of them, 
with its jagged brow jutting forth like a promontory, seems 


to be a gigantic saurian stretching his long skeleton before 
the entrance of a valley. Such a spectacle leaves St. 
Peter's, the Colosseum, and all other human monuments 
far in the background. Each has its own physiognomy > 
like an animated countenance, but indescribable, because 
no living form corresponds to a mineral form ; each has 
its own colour, one being grey and cabined, like a 
cathedral devastated by fire, another brown, and fur- 
rowed with the white lines of torrents, the more distant 
of a serene blue, and the most remote merged into glow- 
ing luminous atmosphere and magnificently varied with 
shadows and masses of cloud. Diverse as they are, 
whether bold or retiring, majestic or mournful, they are 
ennobled by the soft luminous atmosphere and by the 
grand celestial canopy overhead, of which their vastness 
renders them worthy. No caryatides are equal to these 

On the summit, on an esplanade, stands the great square 
convent with its stories of terraces and rocky gardens 
surrounded by bald peaks, constituting a choir of which 
it forms the centre. At the end of a long ascending porch 
you perceive a court enclosed within rows of columns. 
From this court broad steps lead to a still higher court, 
also furnished with its porticoes; here, displayed upon the 
walls, is a silent assembly of statues of abbes, princes, 
and benefactors. The church rises in the background. 
From its portal the eye ranges over columns and arches 
sharply defined on the clear azure, and beyond, in the 
luminous coruscations of sunset, over the ample architec- 
ture of the mountains. Stone and sky is all — it almost 
prompts one to turn monk. 

My apartment is situated at the end of one of those 
enormous corridors in which you so easily get lost. Its 
two windows open each on a distinct mountain horizon. 
It is almost without furniture : in the middle of the floor 


stands a brasero with coals smouldering beneath whiti 
ashes, and serving as a fireplace. On the wall hang 
several engravings of the works of Luca Signorelli, repre- 
senting superb naked figures posed like wrestlers, in the 
style of Michael Angelo. An adjoining chamber contains 
a number of black old pictures, suspended on the colon- 
nade, of which Tobit and the Angel forms the subject. 
The most insignificant object here bears the stamp of 
former grandeur. 

Roman savants often resort here to pass three or four 
months in the heat of summer, and to work comfortably in a 
silent and temperate atmosphere. The library contains 
forty thousand volumes, and a quantity of diplomas. Its 
hospitality is complete; there is no charity-box — you 
can scarcely give anything to a servant. The order has 
preserved ancient traditions, its love of knowledge, and 
its liberal spirit. The monks are not confined to their 
cloisters and divorced trom all society, but are at liberty 
to leave them and travel. One of them, Father Tosti, is 
a historian, a thinker, a considerate reformer, but imbued 
with the modern spirit, and persuaded that henceforth the 
Church must be conciliated with science. They study and 
teach as formerly. Out of three hundred occupants of 
the monastery twenty are monks, and about one hundred 
and fifty are pupils, all pursuing their studies, from the 
rudiments up to theology. In the evening we could hear 
beneath us in a ravine filled with broom and lentisk, t he 
children of the seminary shouting and running about, their 
black robes and broad-brimmed hats being now and then 
visible amidst the green of the trees. 

We dined by ourselves in the immense refectory, lighted 
by a brass lamp without a glass, similar to those found at 
Pompeii. Its feeble taper cast flickering gleams on the 
pavement and on the great stone vault above, the reflec- 
tions being drowned in the vague overwhelming obscurity, 


An enormous fresco on the right, the c Multiplication of 
the Loaves and Fishes,' by Bassan, an entire surface of 
the wall covered with crowds of figures, hovered there like 
an apparition of phantoms of old ; and when the servant 
entered with our meal, his black solitary form advancing 
in the yellow penumbra, seemed likewise to be a phan- 

The morning light entering through my curtainless 
window awoke me. I doubt if many sights in the world 
equal in beauty that of such an hour in such a place. 
The first impression is one of astonishment at finding the 
mountains of the previous evening still in the same posi* 
tion. They appear more sombre than they did yesterday; 
the sun has not yet touched their tops and they remain cold 
«nd grave; but in the grand arena below, expanding from 
the base of the convent, and in the neighbouring valleys, 
myriads of clouds ascend and tranquilly diffuse themselves, 
many as white as swans, and others transparent and 
melting, some clinging to the rocks like gauze, and others 
suspended and floating like mist above a watercourse. 
The sun rises, and his oblique rays suddenly people these 
depths. Illuminated clouds form groups of aerial spirits, 
delicate, and of exquisite grace, the most remote glowing 
and diaphanous like a bridal veil: all this dazzling bright- 
ness, these moving splendours, forming an angelic choir 
within the dark walls of the amphitheatres : the plain has 
disappeared, and only mountains and clouds are perceptible 
— sombre, motionless, venerable monsters, with young 
lithe vapoury gods flying and capriciously mingling to- 
gether and appropriating to themselves alone the sun's 

The church is of the seventeenth century, and is painted 
by Luca Giordano and the Chevalier d'Arpino. Like the 
Chartreuse of Naples, it is lined with precious stones and 
mosaics; the pavement seems to be a rich carpet, and 


the walls fine paper-hangings. The ancient gravity and 
energy of the Renaissance had disappeared, the sentiment 
of the court and the salon already began to prevail. The 
architecture is thus the work of a sensual paganism, 
showing the dilettanteism of the decorator ; all the re- 
sources of art, such as cupolas, arcades, spiral, Corinthian, 
and other columns, carved figures, gildings, &c, are hero 
accumulated. The stalls of the choir are laboured to an 
extraordinary degree* being covered with diminutive 
figures and foliage. Paintings adorn the cupola ceiling, 
extend through the nave, overflow into the chapel, take 
possession of every corner, and display themselves in enor- 
mous compositions over the portal and arches. Colour is as 
flattering to the eye as a ball-dress. A charming s Truth,' 
by Luca Giordano, has scarcely any drapery but her blonde 
hair, and another figure, c Benevolence,' is, they say, a 
portrait of his wife. The other Virtues, so graceful, are 
the gay amorous ladies of an age buried in ignorance and 
resigned to despotism, one no longer concerned with aught 
but sonnets and gallantry. The painter rumples and 
tosses about his silks and stuffs, hangs pearls in dainty 
ears, puts glittering gold necklaces on fresh satiny 
shoulders, and so pursues the brilliant and agreeable that 
his fresco at the entrance, € The Consecration of the 
Church,' resembles a sumptuous and tumultuous scene at 
the opera. 

The altar, supported by two gigantic cherubs, is said to 
be by Michael Angelo. A massive gold crucifix is by 
Cellini. The organ has the most complicated and most 
brilliant of registers ; two of the monks are Germans, and 
they are studying in the archives the buried treasures of 
ancient music. You have everything here, not only the 
arts and the sciences, but the grand spectacles of nature. 
This is what the old feudal and religious society provided 
for its pensive, .olitary spirits ; for minds which, repelled 


by the bitterness of life, reverted to speculation and self- 
culture. The race still subsists ; only they no longer 
possess an asylum ; they live in Paris and in Berlin in 
garrets. I know of many that are dead, of others saddened 
and chilled; others, again, worn out and disgusted. Will 
science ever do for its faithful servants what religion 
has done for hers? Will there ever be a laic Monte 






Rome: March 10. — You ask me if one can amuse him- 
self in Rome. Amuse, as a French term, has meaning 
only at Paris. Here, if you are not of the country, you 
must study — there is no other resource. I pass three ot 
four hours a day before pictures and statues. I write my 
impressions on the spot, and only write when I have an 
impression. You must not, accordingly, look for full de- 
scriptions, nor a catalogue ; rather buy Murray, Forster, 
or Valery — they furnish all the information you require 
on art and archaeology. They are certainly very dry, 
but the fault is not theirs — are colour and forms to be 
made appreciable by lines of words on paper ? The best 
thing is engravings, especially old engravings like the 
works of Piranesi. Open your portfolios and look at the 
great squares surrounded by domes and lofty edifices, 
dusty and crossed with ruts, with Louis XIV. carriages 
loaded with lacqueys passing, whilst vagabonds approach 
begging, or lie sleeping against a column. These tell more 
than all the descriptions in the world. It is necessary, 
however, to abate something ; the artist has chosen a 


favourable time, an interesting effect of light, for no othe* 
reason than that he was an artist ; besides an engraving 
has not the disadvantage of a bad odour, and the mendicants 
you see in them inspire neither compassion nor disgust. 
You envy my sojourn at Rome. I am glad I came, 
because I am learning many things here, but for true 
pleasure, unqualified poetic enjoyment, I found it more 
readily when I sat with you, at eleven o'clock in the 
evening, turning over the contents of your old portfolios. 
As to life here, it is not at all interesting. I rent a 
small lodging of an agreeable well-to-do family, and com- 
pletely Roman, who reserve what is cleanly for their 
tenants, and the opposite for themselves. One of the sons 
is a lawyer, and another an employe. The family live by 
letting the front rooms of their house, confining them- 
selves to the apartments in the rear. The stairs are 
never swept, and, there being no concierge, the entrance 
remains open day and night, come who will. To offset 
this the door of each apartment is massive and capable of 
resisting any attack. There is no light: lodgers are 
obliged, in the evening, to carry matches with them in 
their pockets ; these are indispensable except when there 
is moonlight. One of our friends placed a lamp on his 
landing-place at his own expense ; in the evening the 
lamp was stolen ; a second and a third met with the same 
fate, and he has returned to matches. In the morning 
we breakfast at the cafe Greco ; this is a long, low, 
smoky apartment, not brilliant or attractive, but con- 
venient : it appears to be like the rest throughout Italy. 
This one, which is the best in Rome, would pass for a 
third-rate cafe in Paris. It is true that almost every- 
thing here is good and cheap ; the coffee, which is 
excellent, costs three sous a cup. This done, I go to a 
museum or gallery, and almost always alone ; otherwise 

it would be impossible to have any impressions of my 

H 2 


100 ROME. 

own, and especially to adhere to them : conversation and 
discussion act on inward reverie and imagery like a 
broomstick on a cluster of butterflies. In wandering 
about the streets I enter the churches, and my guide-book 
informs me of their architects and century ; this gives 
them an historical position, and involuntarily I fall into 
a train of reflection on the social condition out of which 
they sprung. Returning home, I find on my table books 
of the epoch, and especially memoirs and poems ; I read 
these an hour or two, and then finish my notes. Rome 
I regard as only a grand old curiosity shop : what can 
one do here but study art, history, and archaeology ? II 
I did not thus occupy myself I am satisfied that the con« 
fusion and dirt of its bric-a-brac, the cobwebs, the musti- 
ness of so many precious objects, formerly bright and 
perfect, but now faded, mutilated, and despoiled, would 
give me a fit of the blues. When evening comes I take 
a cab and pay some visits. Being well provided with 
letters of introduction, I encounter persons of all 
conditions and all shades of opinion, and I have met with 
a great deal of kindness and civility. My landlord talks 
to me about the present time, about religion, about 
politics. I strive to gather a few ideas concerning the 
Italy of to-day, which is the complement of the Italy 
of the past, and the last of a series of medals, all 
commenting on and explaining each other ; with these I 
pursue my usual course. After having tried many ex- 
periments, I find only one good thing left, or at least one 
supportable thing, which is to attend to my business. 

Arrival at Borne. — The Rome of last evening, so dark 
and shopless, with its few dim gaslights scattered wide 
apart, what a funereal spectacle ! The Piazza Barberini, 
where I lodge, is like a catafalque of stone with a few 
forgotten tapers burning on it ; the feeble little lights seem 
to be swallowed up in a lugubrious shroud of shadow, and 


the indistinct murmur of the fountain in the silence is 
like the rustling of phantoms. The nocturnal aspect 
of Rome cannot be described ; in the daytime ' cela It 
mort? * but at night there is all the horror and the gran- 
deur of the sepulchre. 

Sunday and Mass at the Sistine Chapel. — We take our 
place in line at the entrance, the ladies without bonnets, 
in black veils, and the gentlemen in dress-coats, which is 
the prescribed uniform ; but you wear your oldest coat 
some of the men wear brown pantaloons, and grey broad- 
brimmed hats: the assembly seems to be composed of 
usher's officials and funeral undertakers. People come 
here out of curiosity as they go to the theatre ; the 
ecclesiastics themselves converse freely and with anima- 
tion on indifferent matters. 

A conversation on rosaries takes place near me. ' At 
Paris they cost thirty-six francs a dozen ; the best here, 
the cheapest, can be had behind the church of Santa 
Maria sopra Minerva.' * I will recollect that name : how 
do you get to it ? ' — c Do you know that we shall not 
have the Pope to-day? he is unwell.' — c Me? I lodge in 
the Via del Babuino, at five francs a day, including 
breakfast ; the wine, however, is weak.' — i Look at those 
queer Swiss, coloured and striped like opera figurants ! ' 
-- c He who has just come in is Cardinal Panebianco, a 
grey old monk ; the next vacancy he will be papabile.' 
— c I don't like lamb, and genuine gigot cannot be had.' 
'You will hear the soprano Mustapha, an admirable 
fellow ! ' • Is he really a Turk ? ' ' lie is neither Turk 
nor man.' — ' Monsignor Landriani, a fine head but a 
donkey of the first water ! ' — ' The Swiss guard is of the 
sixteenth century. Look at their frills and while plumes 
and their halberds, and the red, yellow, and black stripes 

* An expression of M. de Girardin, signifying that the city appeivrt 

102 ROME. 

of their doublets ! They say this costume was designed 
by Michael Angelo.' s Michael Angelo then did all 
this ?' ' The best of it.* ' He ought then to have im- 
proved the gigoV f You will become accustomed to 
that.' ( No more than I will to the wine. But my lega 
are sinking from under me.' 

The mass is an imposing ceremony: damask copes 
glitter at every movement ; the bishop and his acolytes, 
tall in stature and nobly draped, go through their 
manoeuvres in the gravest and choicest of attitudes. 
Meanwhile the cardinals one by one advance, wearing 
their red hats ; two attendants bear their scarlet trains ; 
they take their seats, each with his train-bearers at his 
feet. Many of these heads are furrowed 3 and profoundly 
expressive, especially amongst the monks ; but none are 
more so than that of the officiating prelate, who, dark, 
meagre, hollow-eyed, and with a magnificent full brow 
bearing a mitre, sits, in his sparkling stole, like a motion- 
less Egyptian god A general of the Theatines, in a 
brown and white cassock, delivered a sermon in Latin, 
with good accent and appropriate gesture, quite free of 
exaggeration or monotony. This scene would have 
furnished Sebastian Leclerc with a subject for an en- 

The vocal music can be described only as frightful 
squalling. All the incredible intervals that can be con- 
ceived of seem to have been capriciously patched together. 
Occasionally a strain of a mournful original character is 
distinguished , but the harmony is brutal, and there are 
violent throat efforts worthy of drunken choristers. 
Either I have no ear for music or they sang false : the 
altos were nothing but screeches. A big chorister in 
the middle bellowed : you could see him in his cage hard 
at work, and perspiring freely. One piece was given 
after the sermon in a refined and chaste manner; but 


what disagreeable voices ! the altos shriek, and the bassos 

The breaking up of this assemblage is interesting. 
You see at the end of the colonnade each cardinal 
entering his carriage, and his three lacqueys stacking 
themselves up behind, a red umbrella, perched upon the 
box, indicating to soldiers that they must present arms. 
The procession of retiring figures under the arcades, the 
parti-coloured Swiss guard, the women in black veils, 
and the groups forming and dissolving on the staircases, 
the fountains playing and visible between the columns, — 
form a tableau such as is unknown at Paris ; you have 
a composition in a frame, and with an effect. You 
easily recognise an old engraving. 

In strolling through the streets on foot and in vehicles, 
you finally arrive at this impression, which floats above 
all others, that Rome may be filthy and gloomy, but not 
commonplace. Grandeur and beauty are rare anywhere, 
but almost every object here is worth painting, and 
draws you out of a petty conventional existence. 

In the first place, Rome being built on hills, its streets 
have variety and character : according to their declivity, 
the sky is variously figured between the files of its build- 
ings. Again, so many objects indicate power, even at the 
expense of taste ; churches, convents, obelisks, colonnades, 
fountains, and statues, all are commemorative either of 
important characters and circumstances or of wealth and 
grandeur due to material or spiritual conquests. A monk 
is a strange animal, and belongs to an extinct species. A 
statue has no relationship to bourgeois necessities. A 
church, even Jesuitical, and whatever its pompous deco- 
ration may be, testifies to a formidable corporation. Those 
who created monk, statue, and church have left theii 
visible imprint on the common roll of humanity either 
through their abnegation or through their energy. A 

104 ROMB. 

convent like tlie Trinita del Monte with the air of a closed 
fortress, a fountain like that of Trevi, a palace massive 
and monumental like those of the Corso and of the 
great square of Venice, denote beings and tastes not of 
the ordinary stamp. 

On the other hand, contrasts abound. On leaving, for 
example, a noisy, animated street, you skirt an enormous 
wall for a quarter of an hour oozing with moisture and 
incr usted with mosses, encountering nobody, not even a 
cart ; at long intervals an iron-knobbed gate appears under 
a low arch, the secret exit of some extensive garden. 
Fou turn to the left and enter a street of shops with 
garrets swarming with ragged canaille, and dogs rumma- 
ging in heaps of offal ; it terminates in front of the richly 
sculptured portal of some over-decorated church, a sort 
of ecclesiastical bijou fallen upon a dunghill. Beyond 
this the sombre, deserted streets again resume their 
wonted development. Glancing suddenly through an open 
gateway, you see a group of laurels and rows of clipped 
box, and a population of statues surrounded by jets of 
spouting water. A cabbage market displays itself at the 
base of an antique column. Booths, protected by red 
umbrellas, stand against the fa9ade of a ruined temple, 
and on emerging from a cluster of churches and ho vela 
you perceive plots of verdure, vegetable gardens, and 
beyond these a broad section of the Campagna. 

Finally, there quarters of the houses have an original 
aspect ; each is interesting by itself. They are not simple 
piles of masonry, merely convenient lodgings and expres* 
sionless. Many of them support on their tops a second 
and smaller house, also a covered terrace serving as an 
airy promenade. The ugliest, with their rusty gratings 
and obscure corridors and tumbling staircases, are repul- 
sive, but you stop to look at them. 

I must again compare Ivome to an artist's studio; not, 


however, to that of a fashionable artist who, as with us, 
covets success and parades his profession ; but to that of 
one who is old and wears long hair and whose genius of 
former times now displays itself in disputes with his credi- 
tors. He is bankrupt, and his creditors have more than 
once stripped his lodging of its furniture ; but, as they 
could not carry away the walls, many fine objects in it 
fcave been forgotten. At the present moment he lives 
on his own ruins, acts as cicerone, and pockets his fees, 
Bomewhat despising the rich whose crowns he receives. 
He eats poor dinners, but consoles himself with souvenirs 
of the glorious exhibitions in which he once figured, quietly 
saying to himself, and even at times openly, that next 
year he is going to take his revenge. It must be stated 
that his studio has a bad odour ; the floor has not been 
swept for six months, the sofa has been burnt by the 
ashes of his pipe, and his old mouldy shoes lie in a corner, 
and you see on the buffet fragments of sausage and bits 
of cheese ; but this buffet is of the Renaissance epoch, 
and that threadbare tapestry hiding an old mattress is of 
the grand siecle, and along the wall, traversed by tli8 
rickety stove-pipe, are ranges of pieces of armour and 
rare inlaid arquebuses. You must visit the place, but 
not to remain in it. 

We traversed long sloping streets, running between 
large walls with bulls'-eyes or gratings in them, over an 
interminable lonely bright pavement, and, passing the 
palace of Lucrezia Borgia, went as far as San Pietro in 
Vinculo to see the ' Moses ' of Michael Angelo. The 
first sight of this statue is less surprising than one would 
suppose. We are familiar with it engraved and reduced ; 
the imagination, as is always the case, has exaggerated it; 
moreover, it is polished and finished with extreme per- 
fection. It is in a brilliantly decorated church, and is 
framed in by a handsome chapel. As you dwell on it, 

106 ROME. 

however, the colossal mass produces its effect. You feel 
the imperious will, the ascendency, the tragic energy ol 
the legislator and exterminator ; his heroic muscles and 
virile beard indicate the primitive barbarian, the subduer 
of men, while the long head, and the projections of the 
temples, denote the ascetic. Were he to arise, what action 
and. what a lion's voice ! 

What is most charming here is what you encounter on 
the way unexpectedly ; now the Quirinal palace on the 
summit of a hill entirely detached in the grey atmo- 
sphere, and in front, its horses and colossi of marble ; a 
little farther on the pale verdure of a garden, and thd 
immense horizon with its melting clouds; again an 
Armenian convent with its fertilising waters flowing in 
stone conduits, its scattered palms, its enormous vine, 
which of itself forms a bower, and its beautiful orange 
trees, so tranquil and so noble with their burdens of golden 
fruit. Indian figs warm their thorny slabs on the sides 
of the rocks ; delicate branches begin to put forth buds, 
and no noise is heard but the almost insensible dropping 
of a warm rain. How easy to dream away life here ic 
idle self-communion ! But an ever gay, or, at least u 
healthy mind is imperative. 



Fortunate am I to have packed a few Greek books in 
my trunk. None could be more useful ; classical phrases 
constantly arise in the mind in these galleries, this or that 
statue bodying forth a line of Homer or the opening of 
one of Plato's dialogues. I assure you a Homer or a 
Plato are better guides than all the archaeologists, artists, 
and catalogues in the world. At all events they interest 
me more, and render things clearer. When Menelaus is 
wounded by an arrow, Homer compares his white body, 
stained with red blood, to the ivory which a Carian woman 
dips in purple to make a blinder for a bridle. c Many 
horsemen are desirous to have it, but the favour lies for a 
king; for two purposes — an ornament for his horse, and a 
glory to the driver : so, Menelaus, were thy good thighs 
and legs, and fair ankles beneath, stained with blood.'* 
This is visible, as if seen by a painter or sculptor. ^ Homer 
forgets pain, danger, and dramatic effect, so sensitive is he 
to colour and form ; on the contrary, what less concerns the 
ordinary reader than streaming red blood and the fine lines 
of a leg, and particularly at such a moment ? Flaubert 
and Gautier, who are regarded as innovators and eccentric, 
give precisely similar descriptions nowadays. The ancients 

* The Iliad of Homer, translated by a Graduate of the University of 

108 ROME. 

lack artists as commentators ; thus far closet erudites ar€ 
their sole interpreters. Those who are familiar with an- 
tique vases, see nothing in them but their design and fine 
proportions, their classic merit ; there remains to be dis- 
covered their colouring, emotion, life, all of which is super- 
abundant. Observe the petulance, the drollery, the in- 
credibly fertile imagination of Aristophanes, his prolific, 
surprising, and ridiculous invention, his fantastic buffoon- 
ery, his incomparable freshness, and the startlingly sublime 
poesy intermingled with his grotesque imagery. Put to- 
gether the wit and fancy of all the studios of Paris for 
twenty years, and there would be no approach to it. The 
human brain of those days was organised and furnished in a 
peculiar manner ; sensations entered it with another shock, 
images with another relief, and ideas with other sequences. 
In certain traits the ancients resemble the present Nea- 
politans, in others the social French of the seventeenth 
century, in others the young literary aspirants of the re- 
publics of the sixteenth century, and in others, finally, the 
armed English now extending their empire in New 
Zealand ; but a lifetime is necessary, and the genius of 
a Goethe, to enable one to reconstruct souls of that stamp. 
I see a part, but not the whole. 

Besides special collections, there are here two grand 
museums of antique sculpture, those of the Capitol and of 
the Vatican. They are very well arranged, especially the 
latter: the most precious statues are placed in distinct 
cabinets painted in dark red, so that the eyes are not 
diverted from them, the statue being seen in full light. 
The ornamentation is modest and cf antique sobriety: 
traditions are better preserved here than elsewhere, the 
popes and their architects having retained somewhat 
of grandeur in their taste even in the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries. 

As to the two edifices, I refer you to engravings ; old 


cues are best; firsts because they issue from a truer ^enti* 
ment, and next, because they have a dreary, or at least 
a grave aspect. Let a drawing be clean and fresh, especially 
as it approaches the elegant illustrations of the present day, 
and it represents Rome in an opposite sense. It must be 
borne in mind that a monumental structure, even when 
modern, is defaced and neglected ; winter has cracked its 
stones, and the rains have covered it with dingy spots ; the 
pavement of its courts is disjointed, and many of the slabs 
are broken and sunk in the ground ; its antique statues 
display half amputated feet and bodies covered with scars; 
the poor old marble divinities have been scratched with 
the knives of idle boys or show the effects of a long sojourn 
on a damp soil. A biased imagination, moreover, ampli- 
fies : two or three visits are necessary in order to arrive 
at just conceptions. Who, for instance, has not silently 
wondered on thinking of the Capitol ? This mighty word 
agitates you beforehand, and you are disappointed on find- 
ing a moderately grand square flanked by three palaces 
not at all grand. Nevertheless it is imposing ; a grand 
stone staircase leading up to it, gives it a monumental 
entrance. Two basalt lions guard the base of the ascent, 
and two colossal statues its summit. Balustrades with 
their solid lines cross and recross in the air, while on the 
left a second staircase of extraordinary width and length 
stretches upward to the red fagade of the church of Ara- 
Coeli. On these steps hundreds of beggars as ragged aa 
those of Callot, clad in tattered hats and rusty brown 
blankets, are warming themselves majestically in the 
sunshine. You embrace all this in a glance, the convent 
and the palace, the colossi and the canaille : the hill loaded 
with architecture suddenly rises at the end of a street, its 
stone masses spotted with crawling human insects. This 
is peculiar to Rome, 

The Capitols— In the centre of the square stands 

110 ROME. 

bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. The atti« 
tude is perfectly easy and natural ; he is making a sign 
with his right hand, a simple action, that leaves him calm 
while it gives life to the entire person. He is going to 
address his soldiery, and certainly because he has something 
important to say to them. He does not parade himself; 
he is not a riding-master like most of our modern eques- 
trian figures, nor a prince in state displaying his rank: 
the antique is always simple. He has no stirrups ; this 
is a pernicious modern contrivance, interfering with the 
freedom of the limbs, and due to the same manufacturing 
spirit that has produced flannel-jackets and jointed clogs. 
His horse is of a strong stout species, still related to the 
horses of the Parthenon. Nowadays, after eighteen 
centuries of culture, the two races, man and horse, have 
*become refined and distingue. On the right, in the 
Palazzo dei Conservatory is a superb Caesar in marble, 
wearing a cuirass, and in a no less manly, natural attitude. 
The ancients set no value on that half-feminine delicacy, 
that nervous sensibility which we call distinction, and on 
which we pride ourselves. For the distingue man of the 
present day a salon is necessary ; he is a dilettante, and 
entertaining with ladies ; although capable of enthusiasm 
he is inclined to scepticism ; his politeness is exquisite ; he 
dislikes foul hands and disagreeable odours, and shrinks 
ftom being confounded with the vulgar. Alcibiades had 
\io apprehension of being confounded with the vulgar. 

A huge dismembered colossus has left his marble feet, 
fingers, and head here ; the fragments lie strewn about 
the court between the columns. But the most interest- 
ing objects are the barbarian kings in black marble, so 
vigorous and so melancholy-looking in their grand drapery! 
These are Roman captives, the vanquished of the north, 
as they followed the triumphal car to end their career 
with the axe on the Capitol. You cannot move without 


encountering some new sign of antique life. Facing you 
in the court of the museum is the large statue of a rivet 
deity stretched out over a fountain, a powerful pagan 
torso, with the thick hair and ample beard of a virile god 
slumbering half-naked and enjoying a simple natural 
existence. Above this the restorer of the museum, 
Clement XII., has placed his own charming little bust, 
the student's and politician's subtle, worn, and meditative 
features. The first and the second Rome appear side by 

How describe a gallery? One necessarily falls into 
enumeration. Let me merely designate a few statues as 
points of indication, in order to give a form an 1 a support 
to the ideas they suggest. 

The hall of the dying Gladiator. — Here is a real and 
not an idenl statue ; the figure nevertheless is beautiful, 
because men of this class devoted their lives to exercis- 
ing naked Around him are ranged an admirable 
Antinous, a grand draped Juno, the Faun of Praxiteles, 
and an Amazon raising her bow. The ancients naturally 
represented man naked, whereas we as naturally represent 
him draped. Personal experience provided them with 
ideas of a torso, of a full chest displayed like that of 
Antinous, of the expanded costal muscles of a leaning 
side, of the easy continuity of the hips and thighs of 
a youthful form like that of the bending Faun. In short, 
they had two hundred ideas for every form and movement 
of the nude, whereas we are limited to the cut of a 
dress-coat and to facial expression. Art requires daily 
experience and observation ; from this proceeds public 
taste ; that is to say, the marked preference for this or 
that type. The type defined and understood, there are 
always some superior men to express it. This is why 
when familiar objects change art changes. The mind, 
like certain insects, assumes the colour of the plant on 

119 HOME. 

which it feeds. Nothing is more true than that art is th* 
epitome of life, 

A Faun in red marble. — This one plainly belongs to 
an ulterior epoch ; but the second age only continues the 
first. Rome, Hellenised, is another Greece. Even under 
the Emperors, under Marcus Aurelius, for example, 
gymnastic education was not sensibly modified. The two 
civilisations make one, both being the two stories of the 
same house. He holds a cluster of grapes in each hand, 
displaying them with an air of charming good-humour, 
free from all vulgar sentiment. Physical joy in antiquity 
is not debased, nor, as with us, consigned to mechanics, 
common people, and drunkards. In Aristophanes, Bacchus 
is at once merry-andrew, coward, knave, glutton, and fool, 
and yet he is a divinity ; and what frenzy of joyous 
imagination ! 

Two other Fauns with well-defined muscles and bodies 
turned half around, also a Hercules, a magnificent wrestler 
in bronze-gilt. The interest of the attitude is wholly 
confined to the backward action of the body, which gives 
another position to the belly and pectoral muscles. In 
order to comprehend this we have only the swimming 
schools of the Seine, and Arpin, the terrible Savoyard. 
But how many have seen Arpin ? And who is not dis* 
agreeably affected in our frog-ponds with its undressed 
bodies paddling about? 

A large sarcophagus represents the story of Achilles : 
properly speaking, there is no dramatic interest in it, but 
only five or six nude young males, two females in the 
centre draped, and two old men in the corners. Each form 
being beautiful and animated, is sufficiently interesting in 
itself; the action is secondary, as the group is not there 
to represent this ; it simply binds the group together. 
Passing a fine female figure draped, we come to a nude 
young man, and then to an admirable old man seated— • 


all the artist intended to express. To see a body leaning 
over, an arm upraised, and a trunk firmly planted on the 
two hips, is pleasure enough. 

It is certain that all this is immensely removed from 
our customs. If we of the present day are prepared for 
any art it is not for s-. tuary, nor even for the higher 
walks of painting, but, at most, for the painting of land- 
scape and of common life, and to a greater extent for 
romance, poetry, and music. 

Since I do not traffic with my thoughts, and can 
speak of things as I find them, I am firm in the opinion 
that the great change in history is the advent of pantaloons : 
all the barbarians ol the North wear them in their statues ; 
it marks the passage from Greek and Roman civilisation 
tc the modern. — This is not a jest or a paradox , nothing 
is more difficult than to change a daily and universal habit. 
For a man to be draped and undraped he must be demo- 
lished and reconstructed. The distinctive trait of the 
Renaissance is the abandonment of the two-handed sword 
and full armour : the slashed doublet has succumbed, and 
the cap and tight hose show the passage from feudal life 
to court life. A French Revolution was necessary to 
banish breeches and small sword ; the plebeian or fagged 
business man in boots, pantaloons, and frock-coat, now 
replaces the courtier with his red-heeled shoes, the em- 
broidered fine talker of the ante-chamber. — In thesame way 
the nude is an invention of the Greeks. It was discovered 
by the Lacedaemonians along with their tactics and regi- 
men ; the other Greeks adopted it towards the fourteenth 
Olympiad. To the exercises for which it is best adapted 
they owe their military supremacy. If, as Herodotus 
Bays, the brave Medes were conquered at Platox, it waa 
because they were embarrassed by their long robes. Each 
Greek standing alone thus found that he was more agile, 
more adroit in the use of his limbs, more robust, and bettef 


114 ROME. 

prepared for the ancient system of combat of man to mam 
and body to body. In this respect nudity formed one 
among many customs and institutions, and was an oufr 
ward sign by which the nation distinguished itself. 

I now enter the gallery of busts. It would le bettel 
to speak of it in sober phrases and with points of excla- 
mation ; but character is so salient it is impossible to do 
otherwise than note it in decisive terms. These Greeks 
and Romans, after all, were men : why not treat them as 
contemporaries ? 

Scipio Africanus : a broad bold head and not handsome ; 
the temples are flat like those of carnivorous animals, but 
the square chin and firm energetic lips show the animal- 

Pompey the Great : here, as in history, ranks in the 
second class. 

Cato of Utica : a peevish schoolboy with big ears, 
rigid, drawn features and distorted checks, a grumbler and 

Corbulo: a wry-necked, wheedling dotard, troubled 
with the cholic. 

Aristotle : a full complete head, like that of Cuvier, 
slightly deformed on the right cheek. 

Theophrastus : a face with a worn, suffering expres- 
sion. The complaint on happiness, on which Leopardi 
has commented, is by him. 

Marcus Aurelius : his bust is one of those you encounter 
the oftenest ; you recognise at once his full prominent 
eyes. It is a noble, melancholy head, that of a man 
mastered by his intellect, a meditative idealist. 

Demosthenes : he has all the spirit and energy of the 
man of action ; the brow is somewhat retreating, and the 
eye is as keen as a rapier ; he is the perfect combatant, 
always armed. 

Terence : an absent-minded dreamer, with low brow. 

BUSTS. 115 

Bmall skull, and a melancholy, impoverished look ; a client 
of the Scipios, a poor dependant, a former slave, a delicate 
purist, and a sentimental poet, whose comedies were less 
esteemed than rcpe-dancing. 

Commodus : a peculiar, shrewd, and dangerously wilful 
countenance, with full prominent eyes ; a young beau, a 
dandy capable of strange freaks. 

Tiberius : not a noble head ; but for character and 
capacity well qualified to carry the affairs of an empire 
in his head and to govern a hundred million men. 

Caracalla : a square, vulgar, violent head, restless like 
that of a wild beast about to spring. 

Nero : a fine full skull, but with an expression of low 
humour. He looks like an actor or a leading singer at 
the opera, vain and vicious, and diseased both in imagina- 
tion and in intellect. The principal feature is a long 
pointed chin. 

Messalina: she is not handsome, and has carefully 
deckod herself with a double row of dainty curls. There 
is a sickly smile on her face that pains you. Hers was 
the age of grand lorettes : this one exhibited all the 
folly, passion, sensibility, and ferocity that the species 
possesses. She it was who, moved one day by the elo- 
quence of an accused person, withdrew to conceal her 
tears, but recommending her husband beforehand not to 
let him escape. 

Vespasian: a powerful man, firmly relying on well- 
poised faculties, ready for any emergency, circumspect, 
and worthy to be a Renaissance pope. 

Again in another room observe a bust of Trajan, in** 
penally grand and redoubtable, in which Spanish pride 
and pomposity are most conspicuous. The history of 
Augustus should be read on this spot : these busts tell 
us more of the time than the indifferent chroniclers re- 
gaining to us Each is an epitome of character, and, 


f 10 ROME. 

thanks to the sculptor's talent, which has effaced accidents 
and suppressed minor details, this character is apparent 
at the first glance. 

After the Antonines art visibly declines. Many of these 
itatues and busts are inadvertently comic, disagreeably 
so, and even repulsive, as if the sculptor had copied ar 
old woman's grimaces, the quivering features of a crafty 
man, and other low and unpleasant traits of a nervous, 
shattered machinery. Such sculpture resembles photo- 
Bculpture; it approaches caricature in the statue of a 
woman with a nude torso and a surly head crowned with 
bulging knobs 

Whilst thus indulging in revery and in meditation 
over these beings of stone, the murmuring water jutting 
from lions' mouths makes music around me, and at every 
turn of the gallery I obtain glimpses of landscape, now a 
broad surface of dark wall overhung with glowing oranges, 
now a vast staircase decked with clambering vines, now a 
confused group of roofs, towers, and terraces, and, on the 
horizon^ the enormous Colosseum 

I am not disposed to see more to-day, and yet how 
can one possibly refrain from entering the neighbouring 
gallery, knowing that it contains the ' Rape of Europa,' by 
Paul Veronese? There is a duplicate at Venice; but 
this picture, as it stands before one, is ravishing. En- 
gravings give no idea of it : one must see that blooming 
maid in her dark seagreen robe as she leans over to fasten 
her mistress's bracelet, the noble form and calm action of 
the young girl raising her arm towards the crown borne 
by cupids, the joy and delicate voluptuousness radiat- 
ing from her smiling eyes, and from those beautiful rich 
forms and from the brilliancy and harmony of all thif 
blended colour. Europa is seated on a magnificent silken 
and golden cloth, striped with black ; her robe, of a pale 
violet hue, discloses her snowy foot beneath it; the careless 


folds of the chemise frame the soft round throat ; hei 
dreamy eyes vaguely regard the cherubs sporting in the 
air, and the arms, neck, and ears sparkle with white 

The Forum is a few paces off : I descend to it and rest 
myself. The sky was of perfect purity ; the clear lines 
of the walls and of the ruined arcades, one above the 
other, relieved against the azure as if drawn with the 
finest pencil : the eye delighted in following them to and 
fro, and repeatedly returned to them. Form, in this limpid 
atmosphere, has its own beauty, independent of expression 
and colour, as, for instance, a circle, an oval, or a clean 
curve relieving on a clear background. Little by little 
the azure becomes almost green, an imperceptible green 
like that of precious stones, or that of the source of a foun- 
tain, but still more delicate. There was nothing in this 
long avenue that was not interesting or beautiful ; trium- 
phal arches half buried and obliquely opposed to each 
other, remnants of fallen columns, enormous shafts and 
capitals, lining both sides of the way ; to the left the 
colossal arches of Constantine's basilica, varied with green 
pendent bushes ; on the opposite side the ruins of Caesar's 
palace, a vast mound of red bricks crowned with trees ; 
Saint Como with a portal of debased columns, and Santa 
Francesca with its elegant campanile ; above the horizon 
a row of dark, delicate cypresses, and farther on, similar 
to a mole in ruins, the crumbling arcades of the temple 
of Venus ; and finally, as if to bar all progress, the gigan- 
tic Colosseum gilded with smiling sunshine. 

Over all these grand objects modern life has installed 
itself like a mushroom on a dead oak. Fences of rough- 
hewn stakes, like those of a village fete, surround the pit 
out of which arise the disinterred columns of Jupiter 
Stator. Grass covers its excavated sides. Tattered 
vagabonds are pitching stone quoits. Old women and 

11* ROME. 

dirty children are basking in the sun amidst heaps of 
ordure. Monks in white and brown frocks pass along, 
and after these files of scholars in black hats, led by an 
ecclesiastic in red. An iron bedstead factory, in front ci 
the basilica, salutes the ear with its clatter. You read at 
the entrance of the Colosseum a prayer to the Virgin 
that procures a hundred days' indulgence, and in this 
prayer she is treated as an independent goddess. You 
still recognise, notwithstanding all this, some of the pro- 
minent traits of the ancient race and of former genius. 
Several of those old women resemble Renaissance sibyls. 
That peasant in leather leggings with his earth-stained 
mantle has an admirable face — a sloping nose, Greek chin, 
and speaking black eyes that flash and glow with natural 
genius. Under Constantine's arch I listen for half an 
hour to a voice apparently chanting litanies ; on approach- 
ing, I find a young man on the ground reading in a reci- 
tative tone to an audience of five or six droll characters 
stretched out at full length beside him, the combat 
between Roland and Marsilia in Orlando Furioso. — I 
return and take my supper in the nearest auberge, at 
Lepri's; a dirty vagabond, a hairdresser with an old 
pomatumed wig plastering his cheeks and provided with 
a mandolin and a small portable piano with pedals, 
instals himself in a neighbouring room, and with arms 
and feet going, sings in a bass voice, and plays the airs of 
Verdi and a finale from La Sonnambula. The delicacy 
elegance, and variety of his performance are admirable 
This poor fellow has a soul, an artist's soul, and one for 
gets all about eating in listening to him. 



The Vatican. — This is probably the greatest treasury of 
antique sculpture in the world. Here is a page of Greek 
which one ought to keep in mind in passing through it. 

' I will question them, said Socrates, whether among 
the youths of the time there were any that were distin- 
guished for wisdom or for beauty, or for both. On this, 
Critias, looking towards the door, where he saw some 
youths coming in, wrangling with one another, and a 
crowd of others following them, said : "As for beauty, 
Socrates, you may judge for yourself; for those who have 
just entered are the admirers of him who is reckoned the 
handsomest young man now going; no doubt they are 
now his precursors, and he himself will be here soon." 
"And who, and whose son is he ? " said I. u You know 
him," said he. " But he was a child when you went away. 
It is Charmides, the son of our uncle Glaucon, and my 
cousin." " By Zeus ! I knew him," said I; " even then he 
was not ill-favoured as a boy ; but he must be now quite 
a young man." " You will soon know," said he, " how big 
he is, and how well-favoured." And as he spoke, Charmides 

c He did seem to me wonderfully tall and beautiful, and 
all his companions appeared to be in love with him ; 
such an impression and commotion did he make when ho 


came into the room : and other admirers came in his suite. 
And that we men looked at him with pleasure was natural 
enough. But I remarked that the boys, even the smallest, 
never took their eyes off him ; but all looked at him like 
persons admiring a statue.' 

6 So Chaerephon, addressing me in particular, said : 
" Well, Socrates, what do you think of the youth ? Is he 
not good-looking ? " et He is," said I, " perfectly admir- 
able." "And yet," said he, "if you were to see him 
undressed for his exercises, you would say that his face 
was the worst part about him, he is so handsome every 
way." And they all said the same as Chaerephon. 

* ec Charmides," I said, " it is natural that you should 
surpass the others, for no one here, I think, can point out 
in Athens two other families whose alliance could produce 
any one handsomer or better than those from which you 
sprung. Indeed your paternal house, that of Critias, the 
son of Dropide, is celebrated by Anacreon, Solon, and 
many other poets as excelling in beauty, in virtue, and m 
all other things on which happiness depends. And like- 
wise that of your mother ; for no one appears more beau- 
tiful nor more great than your uncle Pyrilampe, every 
time that he is sent as ambassador to the great king, or 
to any other monarch on the continent. The latter house 
is in no way surpassed by the former. Born of such 
parents, it is reasonable that you should be first of all." * * 

With this scene in your mind, you may wander through 
these grand halls and see these statues act and think, the 
Discobolus, for instance, and the young Athlete, a copy, 
it is said, after Lysippus. The latter has just finished a 
race, and holds in his hand a number by which you know 
that he came in fifth ; he is rubbing himself with the 
•trigiL His head is small, his intellect being ample foi 

• The Platonic Dialogues, by Wm. WheweU, D J), 


the corporeal exercise which is just terminated ; such glory 
and such occupation suffice for him. In fact in the best 
days of Greece gymnastic triumphs were deemed so im- 
portant, that many of the young devoted years to a pre- 
paration for them, under masters, and a special regimen 
similar to that of our race-horses under their trainers. 
He appears to be fatigued, and is scraping off the dust 
and perspiration adhering to his skin ; if I may be allowed 
the expression, he is currying himself. This term is re- 
pugnant to French ears, but it was not so to the Greeks, 
who did not as we do — separate human life from animal 
life. Homer, enumerating the warriors before Troy, 
places men and horses indifferently on the same level : 
• These,' says he, ( are the chiefs and the kings of Greece. 
Tell me, O Muse, which of these was best, both of warriors 
and of horses ? [ 

But, on the other hand, consider what flesh such a 
life produced, what firmness of tissue, what a tone oil, 
dust, sunshine, perspiration, and the strigil must have 
given to the muscles ! In the Rivals of Plato, the youth 
devoted to gymnastics jeers his adversary devoted to 
literature : c It is only excercise which strengthens the 
body ! See Socrates, that poor fellow ; he neither sleeps 
nor eats ; he is lean, long-necked, and ill on account of 
study ! And here they all laughed. ' 

The body of this figure is perfectly beautiful, almost 
real, for he is neither god nor hero. For this reason the 
little toe of the foot is imperfect, the arm above the elbow 
meagre, and the fall of the loins strongly marked; but 
the legs, and especially the right one, as viewed behind 
possess the spring and elasticity of those of a greyhound. 
Before such a statue one fully realises the difference 
between antique civilisation and our own. An entire 
4ty selected the best young men of the best families for 
wrestling and running ; these j erf ormances were witnessed 

122 ROME. 

by everybody, both by men and women ; they compare* 
together backs, legs, and breasts, every muscle brought 
into play in the thousand diversities of muscular effort A 
common looker-on was a connoisseur, as nowadays any* 
body that can ride criticises horses at the c Derby,' or in 
the ring. On his return to the city the victor received 
a public welcome ; sometimes he was chosen general ; his 
name was placed on the public records, and his statue 
ranked with those of protecting heroes ; the victor in the 
races gave his name to the Olympiad. When the 6 Ten 
Thousand, arrived in sight of the Black Sea, and found 
themselves safe, their first impulse was to celebrate games ; 
having escaped from the barbarians their former Greek 
life was now to recommence. * This hill is an excellent 
place,' said Dracontios, ' where he who wills may run 
where he pleases.' e But how can you run on such rough 
and bushy ground ? ' ' So much the worse for him who 
falls ! ' In the race of the grand stadium, more than 
sixty Cretans presented themselves ; the others contended 
in wrestling, boxing, and the pancratium. It was a fine 
sight, for many athletes were there, and, as their com- 
panions regarded them, they made great efforts.' 

A century later, in the time of Aristotle, Menander, 
and Demosthenes, when intellectual culture was complete, 
and when philosophy and comedy perfected themselves 
and began to decline, Alexander, disembarking on the 
Troad, stripped himself, along with his companions, to 
honour the tomb of Achilles with races. Imagine Napo- 
leon acling in a similar manner on his first campaign in 
Italy. The corresponding action with him I suppose 
would be buttoning up his uniform and gravely assisting 
at a Te Deum in Milan Cathedral. 

One sees the perfection of this system of corporeal 
education in the young athlete who is pitching the discus , 
in the curve of the body bending over, in the disposition 


of the limbs extended or contracted so as to concen 
trate the greatest possible force at one point. Plato has 
a significant paragraph on this subject. He divides 
education into two equally important branches, gymnas- 
tics and music. By gymnastics he means whatever re- 
lates to the formation and exercise of the naked figure ; 
by music whatever relates to the voice, that is to say, not 
only melody but the words and ideas of hymns and poems 
that impart a knowledge of the religion, justice, and 
history of heroes. What an insight this gives us into the 
life of the youth of antiquity ! What a contrast when 
placed alongside of our smattering systems ! 

A grand reclining statue called ' The Nile/ a copy 
of which is in the Tuileries. Nothing could be more 
graceful, more fluid than these infantile diminutive crea- 
tures playing around this large body; nothing could 
better express the fulness, the repose, the indefinable, 
the almost divine life of a river. A divine body — these 
terms, coupled together in a modern language, seem to 
be incompatible, and yet they express the mother idea 
of antique civilisation. — -Behind this figure stand some 
admirable nude athletes, quite young and holding phials 
of oil ; one of them, apparently about thirteen years 
of age is the Lysis or Menexenes of Plato. 

From time to time inscriptions are disinterred, throw 
ing considerable light on these usages and sentiments so 
remote from ours. The following, published this year, is 
an inscription in honour of a young athlete of Thera; 
it was found on the pedestal of his effigy, and its four 
verses possess all the beauty, simplicity, and force of a 
statue. c Victory to the pugilist is at the price of blood > 
but this youth, the breath still warm from the rude com- 
bat of the boxer, firmly withstood the severe labour of the 
pancratium, and the same sun saw Dorocleides twio* 

124 SOME. 

Evil, However, must be considered as well as tlie good 
Love as induced by gymnastic life is a perversion ol 
human nature ; in this connection the narrations of Plato 
are extravagant. Again, these antique customs which 
respect the animal in man, likewise react and develop 
the animal in man, and in this relation Aristophanes is 
scandalous. We fancy ourselves corrupt because we 
have licentious romances, but what would we say if one 
of our theatres should give us his Lysistrate ? Sculpture, 
fortunately, shows us nothing of this singular society but 
its beauty. A standing canephora at the entrance of the 
Braccio-Nuovo is similar to those of the Parthenon, 
although of an inferior workmanship. When, like this 
figure, a daughter of one of the first families wore only 
one garment, and over this a short mantle, and was 
accustomed to carrying vases on her head, and, conse- 
quently obliged to stand erect ; when her toilet consisted 
only of binding up her hair or letting it fall in ringlets, 
and her face was not wrinkled with innumerable petty 
graces and petty anxieties, then could a woman assume 
the tranquil attitude of this statue. To-day a relic of this 
is visible amongst the peasants of the environs who carry 
baskets on their heads, but they are disfigured by labour 
and rags. — The bosom appears under the tunic, which 
adheres closely to the figure, and is evidently a simple 
linen mantle; you see the form of the leg which breaks the 
stuff into folds at the knee, and the feet are naked in their 
sandals. No words can describe the natural seriousness 
of the countenance. Certainly, if one could behold the 
real person with her white arms and her black hair in 
pure sunlight, his knees would bend as if before a goddesa 
with reverence and delight. 

Look at a statue entirely veiled, for instance, that of 
1 Modesty ;' it is evident that the antique costume 
effected no change in the form of the body, that th* 


adhesive o) looee folds of drapery received their forma 
and changes from it ; that one easily detects through the 
folds the equilibrium of the entire frame, the rotundity of 
the shoulders or of the thigh, and the hollow of the back. 
The idea of man was not then, as with us, that of a pure 
or impure spirit, plus an overcoat or a crinoline, but a 
being with a back, a breast, muscular joints, a spinal 
column, visible vertebra, and a neck with tendons and a 
firm leg from the heel to the loins. It has been stated 
that Homer was versed in anatomy because he so accu- 
rately describes wounds, the clavicle and the iliac bone ; 
what he knew of man was simply what he knew of his 
belly and thorax, the same as all other men of that time. 
My own slight medical studies have considerably en- 
lightened me in these matters ; it is impossible to under- 
stand the conceptions of these artists, if one has not 
himself felt the articulations of the neck and limbs; if 
one has not acquired beforehand some idea of the two 
master portions of the body, the movable bust on its 
basin, and likewise the mechanism of the muscular sys- 
tem extending from the sole of the foot up the thigh 
to the hollow of the lumbar region, which enables a man 
to stand and keep himself erect. 

None of this is possible without the antique costume. Ob- 
serve c Diana regarding Endymion ; ' her robe falls to her 
feet ; she has besides this the usual over-garment, but the 
foot is naked. Put a shoe on it like that worn by the young 
ladies promenading the gallery here with their guide-books 
in their hands, and there is no longer a natural body but an 
artificial machine. It is not a human being but a jointed 
cuirass, very good for climatic rigour and pleasingly 
adorned to grace a parlour. Woman, through culture 
and the modern system of dressing, has become a sort of 
laced-up scarabee, stiff in her grey corslet, mounted on 
hard polished claws and loaded with various brilliant 

126 ROME. 

appendages,, all her envelopes, ribbons, caps, and crinolines 
agitated and fluttering like antennae and the double set 
of wings. Very often this figure assumes the expression 
of an insect ; the entire body hums with the restless acti- 
vity of the bee, its beauty mainly consisting of nervcus 
vivacity, and especially when coquettishly arranging its 
lustrous attire and the complicated apparatus of jewellery 
that gleams and flashes around it. 

Here, on the contrary, the nude foot shows that the long 
tunic is simply a veil of no great importance ; the belt is 
only a cord fastened beneath the breasts and is tied in a 
careless manner, the two breasts expanding the material > 
the tunic clasped over the shoulder is not broader than the 
width of two fingers, so that you feel the shoulder ex- 
tending into the arm, which is full and strong, and not at 
all resembling those filamentous appendages that hang 
nowadays by the sides of a corset. As soon as the corset 
is worn there is no longer a natural form ; this dress, on the 
contrary, can be slipped on or off in a second ; it is simply 
a linen mantle taken up for a covering. 

All this shows itself in the Braccio-Nuovo and in count- 
less statues besides, such as the Augustus and the Tiberius. 
Alongside of each prominent figure is an emperor's bust. 
One cannot mention all ; I have only to remark a Julia, 
daughter of Titus. The form here is fine, but the head 
bears the ridiculous modern knobs. Such a head-dress 
destroys the effect of sculpture, and the entire sentiment of 
the antique. 

From this room you follow a long corridor crowded with 
Greek and Roman remains, and then enter the Musee 
Pio Clementino, where the works of art are separated and 
grouped each around some important piece in apartments 
of average size. I will not dwell on merely curious ob- 
jects, such as the tomb of the Scipios, so prized by anti* 
quarians and so simple in form, the stone out of which it 


is fashioned resembling baked ashes. The men herein 
interred belong to that generation of great Romans who 
in conquering Samnium and organising colonies established 
die power of Rome over Italy, and consequently ovr r the 
whole world. They were its true founders ; the van- 
quishers of Carthage and Macedonia, and the rest that 
followed them, only continued their work. This block oi 
peperine is one of the corner stones of the edifice in which 
we now live, and its inscription seems to address us in the 
grave tones of the dead, couched there for one-and-twenty 

Cornelius Lucius Scipio the Bearded, 

Born of his father Gnsevus, a man wise and brave^ 

Whose beauty was equal to his virtue. 

He was censor, consul, gedile in your city, 

Took Taurasia, Cisauna in Samnium, 

Subjected all Lucania, and bore off hostages. 

Here are the masterpieces ; and first the f Torso/ so 
lauded by Michael Angelo. Indeed, in its life, in its gran- 
deur of style, in the vigorous setting of the thighs, in its 
spirited action, and in the mingling of human passion with 
ideal nobleness, it is in conformity with his manner. — A 
little farther on is the ' Meleager,' of which there is a copy in 
the Tuileries. This is simply a body, but one of the finest 
I ever saw. The head, almost square, modelled in solid 
sections like that of Napoleon, has only a mediocre brow> 
and the expression seems to be that of an obstinate 
man ; at all events nothing about it indicates the great 
capacity and flexibility of intellect which we never 
fail to bestow on our statues, and which at once suggests 
to the spectator the idea of offering pantaloons and over- 
coat to a poor great man so lightly dressed. The beauty 
of this figure consists in a powerful neck and a torso ad- 
mirably continued by the thigh ; he is a hunter and a 
warrior, and nothing more ; the muscles of the ankle denote 

128 ROME. 

this as well as the head. These people invented the 
horse-breeding system for man, and hence their rank in 
history. The Spartans of ancient Greece, who set the 
example to other cities, loaned each other their wives in 
order to obtain an elite stock. Plato, accordingly, who is 
their admirer, advises magistrates to arrange annual 
marriages, so that the finest men may be united to the 
Snest women. 

Xenophon for his part blames Athens, which has no 
system like this, and praises the education of Spartan 
women, so entirely planned with a view to maternity at a 
suitable age, and to the securing of beautiful offspring. 
6 Their young girls/ he says, c exercise in running and in 
wrestling, and this is wisely ordered, for how can females 
brought up, as is usually the custom, to make fabrics of 
wool and to remain tranquil give birth to anything great V 
He remarks that in their marriages all is regulated with 
this intention ; an old man may not possess a young wife 
for himself: he must select i among the young men whose 
form and spirit he most admires, one whom he will take 
into his house and who will give him children.' We see 
that this people, who in their national institutions pushed 
the gymnastic and military spirit the farthest, were inte- 
rested above all things in fashioning a fine race. 

A small rotunda alongside contains the masterpieces of 
Canova, so much praised, I know not why, by Stendhal. 
There is a Perseus, an elegant effeminate figure, and two 
wrestlers, who are merely rancorous pugilists, or naked 
cartmen engaged in commonplace fisticuffing. Nothing 
here intervenes between insipidity and coarseness, between 
the parlour dandy and the stout porter. This impotence 
shows at a glance the difference between the antique 
and the modern. 

Continuing on, you come to the Belvedere 'Mercury, 1 
a young man standing like the Meleager, but still mora 


beautiful. The torso is more vigorous and the head more 
refined. A smiling expression flickers lightly over the 
countenance, the grace and modesty* of a well-born youth 
capable of expressing himself properly because he is of an 
intelligent and select race, but who hesitates to speak 
because his soul is still fresh. The Greek ephehos, before 
whom Aristophanes pleads the cause of the just and the 
unjust, ran, wrestled, and swam long enough to secure that 
superb chest and those supple muscles ; and he had still 
enough of primitive simplicity, and was sufficiently exempt 
from the curiosity disputes and subtleties, then beginning 
to be introduced, to possess those tranquil features. This 
tranquillity is so great, that at the first glance it might be 
taken for a moody and somewhat melancholy air. Setting 
aside the Venus of Milo and the statues of the Parthenon, 
I know of nothing comparable to it. 

The Apollo Belvedere belongs to a more recent and a less 
simple age. Whatever its merit may be, it has the de- 
fect of being a little too elegant ; it might well please 
Winckelmann and the critics of the eighteenth century. 
His plaited locks fall behind the ear in the most charming 
manner, and are gathered above the brow in a kind of 
diadem, as if arranged by a woman ; the attitude reminds 
one of a young lord repelling somebody that troubled him. 
This Apollo certainly displays savoir-vivre, also conscious- 
ness of his rank — I am sure he has a crowd of domestics. 

Neither is the Laocoon of very ancient date ; it is my 
belief that if these two statues have obtained more admi- 
ration than others, it is because they approach nearer to 
the taste of modern times. This work is a compromise 
between two styles and two epochs, similar to one of Euri- 
pides' tragedies. The gravity and elevation of the early 
style still subsists in the symmetrical form of the two sons 
and in the noble head of the father, who, his strength and 

* Infans pudor. 

130 ROME. 

courage both gone, contracts his brow, but utters no cry 
of pain ; while the later art, sentimental, and aiming at 
expression, shows itself in the terrible and affecting 
tiature of the subject, in the frightful reality of the writh- 
ing forms of the serpents, in the touching weakness of the 
poor boy that dies instantly, in the finish of the muscles 
of the back and the foot, in the painful swelling of the 
veins, and in the minute anatomy of suffering generally. 
Aristophanes would say of this group, as he said of the 
Hippolytus or Iphigenia of Euripides, that it makes us 
weep and does not fortify us ; instead of changing women 
into men, it transforms men into women. 

If the footsteps of visitors did not disturb the tranquil- 
lity of these halls, one might pass the entire day in them 
unconscious of the flight of time. Each divinity, each hero 
here, has his own oratory, surrounded by inferior statues ; 
the four oratories constitute the corners of an octagonal 
court, around which runs a portico. Basins of basalt and 
of granite, and sarcophagi covered with figures, stand at 
intervals on the marble pavement ; alone, one fountain 
flows and murmurs in this sanctuary of ideal form and 
motionless stones. A large balcony opens out on the city 
and campagna , from this you obtain a fine view of the 
immense expanse below, with its gardens, villas, domes, 
the beautiful broad tops of the Italian pine rising one 
above another in the limpid atmosphere, rows of dark 
cypress relieving on bright architectural surfaces, and, on 
the horizon a long chain of rugged mountains and snow 
jjeaks penetrating the azure above. 

I returned on foot behind the Castle of St. Angelo, on 
the right bank of the Tiber. A greater contrast you 
could not imagine. The bank consists of a long crumbling 
sandbank, bordered with thorny, neglected hedges , facing 
these, on the other side, is a range of crazy old tenements 
wretched time-worn barracks, stained with infiltration* 


of water and the contact of human vermin, some 
plunging their corroded foundations into the stream, and 
others with a small court between them filled with 
crdure and garbage. You cannot imagine the condition of 
walls exposed for a hundred years to the inclemencies of 
the weather and the abuses of their occupants. Such 
a bordering as this resembles the tattered skirts of a 
sorceress's garb, or some other ragged and infected 
garment. The Tiber rolls along, yellow and slimy, 
between a desert and a mass of corruption. 

Picturesqueness, however, and something of interest is 
never wanting. Here and there a ruin of an old tower 
plunges perpendicularly into the waves ; a square under a 
church shows its stairways sloping into the water, with 
boats moored to them. You are reminded of the old 
engravings exposed for sale on our quays, half-obliterated 
by rain, and torn and rumpled, but representing some 
grand bit of masonry or landscape just visible in a 
apace lying between a hole and two spots of mud. 



Oste might remain here three or four years, and still be 
always learning. It is the greatest museum in the world ; 
ail centuries have contributed something to it, — what can 
one see of it in a month ? A man with time to study, 
and who knew how to observe, would obtain here in a 
column, a tomb, a triumphal arch, an aqueduct, and espe- 
cially in this palace of the Csesars, now being disinterred,, 
the means for recomposing imperial Rome. I visit three 
or four ruins, and try to trace out the meaning of these 

The Pantheon of Agrippa is situated on a dirty and 
quaint old square, a station for miserable cabs, with their 
drivers ever on the look-out for strangers. The refuse 
of vegetable stalls is strewed about on the black pavement, 
and troops of peasants in long gaiters and in sheepskins 
stand there motionless, watching you with their brilliant 
black eyes. The poor temple itself has suffered all that 
an edifice can suffer ; modern structures have been plas- 
tered against its back and sides, and it is flanked with two 
ridiculous steeples; it has been robbed of its bronze 
beams and nails in order to make the columns of the 
baldichino of St. Peter's ; and for a long time rickety 
hovels so incrusted and surrounded its columns as to 
obstruct its portico, while the soil so encumbered the 
entrance, that one had to ascend instead of descend, in 
order to reach its interior. Even as it is to-day, in pood 


repair, its begrimed surface, its fissures and mutilations, 
and the half-effaced inscription of its architrave, give it a 
maimed and invalid appearance. In spite of all this, its 
entrance is grand and imposing ; the eight enormous 
Corinthian columns of the portico, the massive pilasters, 
80 commanding, the cross-pieces of the entablature, and 
the bronze doors, all declare a magnificence characteristic 
of a nation of conquerors and rulers. Our Pantheon 
compared with this seems mean ; and when, after a half- 
hour's contemplation of it, you abstract its mouldiness and 
degradation, and divorce it from its modern dilapidated 
surroundings ; when the imagination pictures to itself the 
white glittering edifice with its fresh marble, and the 
subdued lustre of its bronze tiles and beams, and the 
bronze bas-reliefs adorning its pediment, as it appeared 
in the time of Agrippa, when, after the establishment 
of universal peace, he dedicated it to all the gods, then 
do you figure to yourself with admiration the triumph 
of Augustus which this fete completed, a reconciled sub- 
missive universe, the splendour of a perfected empire, 
and you listen to the solemn melopoeia of Virgil's verses 
celebrating the glory of this great day. * Borne along in 
a triple triumph within the walls of Rome, Augustus dedi- 
cated to the gods of Italy an immortal offering of three hun- 
dred grand temples distributed throughout the city. The 
streets shook with the acclamations, the games, and the 
joy of an entire people. In the temples were choruses of 
women, and at all the altars ; before the altars the 
immolated bulls strewed the ground. He himself, seated 
on the marble threshold of bright Phoebus, passes in 
review the gifts of the people, and attaches them to mag- 
nificent columns ; the vanquished nations approach in 
long files, as diverse in arms and in mind as in language : 
Nomades, Africans with pendant robes, Leleges, Cares, 
the Gelons armed with darts, the Morins, the most remote 

134 ROME. 

of men, the Dahes indomitable. The Euphrates flowa 
placidly, and the Araxus trembles under the bridge that 
has overcome it.' 

You enter the temple under the lofty cupola which 
expands in every sense like an interior firmament; tne 
light descends magnificently from the single aperture in 
the top, its vivid brightness accompanied with cool 
shadows and a transparent veil of floating particles 
slowly passing before the curves of the arch. All 
around are the chapels of the ancient gods, each between 
columns, and ranged along the circular walls ; the vast- 
ness of the rotunda diminishes them, and, thus united and 
reduced, they live subject to the hospitality and majesty 
of the Roman people, the sole divinity that subsists 
in a conquered universe. Such is the impression this 
architecture makes on you. It is not simple, like a 
Greek temple, it does not correspond to a primitive 
sentiment like the Greek religion; it indicates an ad- 
vanced civilisation, a studied art, a scientifically culti- 
vated intelligence. It aims at grandeur, and to excite 
admiration and astonishment ; it forms part of a system 
of government, and completes a spectacle ; it is the deco- 
ration of a fete, which fete is that of the Roman empire. 

You pass along the Forum, and by its three triumphal 
arches, and the grand vaults of its ruined basilicas, and 
the vast Colosseum. There were three or four besides 
this one, the Circus Maximus among these, containing four 
hundred thousand spectators. In a naval battle, under 
Claudius, nineteen thousand gladiators fought in it; a 
silver triton issuing from a lake gave the signal with its 
clarion. Another contained twenty thousand persons. 
Musing over the ideas these give birth to, you reach the 
Baths of Caracalla, the most imposing object after the 
Colosseum that one sees in Rome. 

These colossal structures are so many signs of their 


times. Imperial Rome plundered the entire Mediter* 
ranean basin, Spain, Gaul, and two-thirds of England, for 
the benefit of a hundred thousand idlers. She amused 
them in the Colosseum with massacres of beasts and of 
men; in the Circus Maximus with combats of athletes 
and with chariot races ; in the theatre of Marcellus with 
pantomimes, plays, and the pageantry of arms and 
costume ; she provided them with baths, to which they 
resorted to gossip, to contemplate statues, to listen to 
declaimers, to keep themselves cool in the heats of 
summer. All that had been then invented of the con- 
venient, agreeable, and beautiful, all that could be 
collected in the world that was curious and magnificent, 
was for them ; the Caesars fed them and diverted them, 
seeking only to afford them gratification, and to obtain 
their acclamations. A Roman of the middle classes 
might well regard his emperors as so many public 
purveyors (procuratores), administering his property, re- 
lieving him from troublesome cares, furnishing him at 
fair rates, or for nothing, with corn, wine, and oil, giving 
him sumptuous meals and well-got-up fetes, providing 
him with pictures, statues, pantomimists, gladiators, and 
lions, resuscitating his blase taste every morning with 
some surprising novelty, and even occasionally converting 
themselves into actors, charioteers, singers, and gladiators 
for his especial delight. In order to lodge this group of 
amateurs in a way suitable to its regal pretensions, 
architecture invented original and grand forms. Vast 
structures always indicate some corresponding excess, 
some immoderate concentration and accumulation of the 
labour of humanity. Look at the Gothic cathedrals, the 
pyramids of Egypt, Paris of the present day, and the 
docks of London ! 

On reaching the end of a long line of narrow streetSj 
white walls, and deserted gardens, the great ruin appear* 

136 ROME. 

There is nothing with which to compare its form, whiU 
the line it describes on the sky is unique. No moun- 
tains, no hills, no edifices, give any idea of it. It 
resembles all these ; it is a human structure, which time 
and events have so deformed and transformed, as to 
render a natural production. Rising upward in the 
air, its moss-stained embossed summit and indented crest 
with its wide crevices, a red, mournful, decayed mass, 
silently reposes in a shroud of clouds. 

You enter, and it seems as if you had never seen any- 
thing in the world so grand. The Colosseum itself is 
no approach to it, so much do a multiplicity and irre- 
gularity of ruins add to the vastness of the vast 
enclosure. Before these heaps of red corroded masonry, 
these round vaults spanning the air like the arches of a 
mighty bridge before these crumbling walls, you wonder 
whether an entire city did not once exist there. Fre- 
quently an arch has fallen, and the monstrous mass 
that sustained it still stands erect, exposing remnants of 
staircases and fragments of arcades, like so many shape- 
less, deformed houses. Sometimes it is cleft in the 
centre, and a portion appears about to fall and roll away, 
like a huge rock. Sections of wall and pieces of tottering 
arches cling to it and dart their projections threateningly 
upward in the air. The courts are strewed with various 
fragments, and blocks of brick welded together by 
the action of time, like stones incrusted with the deposits 
of the sea. Elsewhere are arcades quite intact, piled up 
story upon story, the bright sky appearing behind them, 
and above, along the dull red brickwork, is a verdant 
headdress of plants, waving and rustling in the midst of 
the ethereal blue. 

Here are mystic depths, wherein the bedewed shade 
rolongs itself amongst mysterious shadows. Into these the 


ivy descends, and anemones, fennel, and mallows fringe their 
brinks. Shafts of columns lie half-buried under climbing 
vines and heaps of rubbish, while luxuriant clover carpeta 
the surrounding slopes. Small green oaks, with round 
tops, innumerable green shrubs, and myriads of gilli- 
flowers cling to the various projections, nestle in the 
hollows, and deck its crests with their yellow clusters. 
All these murmur in the breeze, and the birds are singing 
in the midst of the imposing silence, 

Next you distinguish the Pinacotheca, as lofty as a 
church dome, and the great rotunda, devoted to vapour 
baths, and the enormous hemicycles, in which the specta- 
cles were given. Imagine a club, like the Athenaeum 
of London, a palace open to everybody ; this one being 
for the use of a society which, besides supplying intellec- 
tual wants, supplied those of the body ; not only resorting 
to it to read books and the journals, to contemplate works 
of art, to listen to poets and philosophers, to converse and 
to discuss, but also to swim, to bathe, to scrub, to per- 
spire, and even to run and wrestle, or, at all events, to 
enjoy the performances of those who did. In this respect 
Rome was simply Athens enlarged. The same kind of 
life, the same instincts, the same habits, the same plea- 
sures were perpetuated ; the difference between them was 
only one of proportion and of time. The city had ex- 
panded so as to contain masters by hundreds of thousands, 
and slaves by millions ; but from Xenophon to Marcus 
Aurelius, there is no change in its gymnastic or in its 
rhetorical education; their taste is always that of 
athletes and orators, and in this sense it was imperative 
to cater for them ; it is to naked bodies, to the dilettanti 
in style, and to amateurs of decoration and conversation, 
that all this appeals. We no longer have an idea of this 
physical pagan existence, this idle, speculative disposi* 

]38 KOMB. 

tion : man in clothing himself and becoming Christian has 
transformed himself. 

You ascend, I know not how many stories, and, on the 
summit, find the pavement of the upper chambers to con* 
sist of checkered squares of marble ; owing to the shrubs 
and plants that have taken root amongst them, these are 
disjoined in places, a fresh bit of mosaic sometimes ap- 
pearing intact on removing a layer of earth. Here were 
sixteen hundred seats of polished marble. In the Baths 
of Diocletian there were places for three thousand two 
hundred bathers. From this elevation, on casting your 
eyes around, you see, on the plain, lines of ancient aque- 
ducts radiating in all directions and losing themselves in 
the distance, and, on the side of Albano, three other vast 
ruins, masses of red and black arcades, shattered and 
disintegrated brick by brick, and corroded by time. 

You descend and take another glance. The hall of 
the piscine is a hundred and twenty paces long ; that in 
which the bathers disrobed is eighty feet in height ; the 
whole is covered with marble, and with such beautiful 
marble that mantel ornaments are now made of its frag- 
ments. In the sixteenth century the Farnese Hercules 
was discovered here, and the Torso and Venus Callipygis, 
and I know not how many other masterpieces ; and in the 
seventeenth century hundreds of statues. No people, 
probably, will ever again display the same luxurious 
conveniences, the same diversions, and especially the 
same order of beauty, as that which the Romans dis- 
played in Home. 

Here only can you comprehend this assertion — a 
civilisation other than our own, other and different, but in 
its kind as complete and as elegant. It is another 
animal, but equally perfect, like the mastodon, previoui 
to the modern elephant. 


In one corner, under shelter, a charming almond- tree 
flourished, as rosy and smiling in its blooming garb of 
blossoms flooded with the sun's rays, as a young girl 
decked for a ball, —a chance seedling, amidst these colossal 
walls, dropped into the corroded skeleton of this monatroiu 



Rome, March 15. — We will now speak of your Raphael; 
as you like honest impressions, I will give you mine in 
their order and diversity. 

How many times have we not discussed Raphael 
over his original drawings and over engravings! 
Here are his greatest productions. When your im- 
pressions begin to shape themselves into ideas, you 
make a list of the places where his pictures may be 
found. You pass from fresco to canvass and from gallery 
to church ; you return to these again and again, and read 
his life and the lives of his contemporaries and masters. It 
is a labour such as you give to a Petrarch or a Sophocles; 
all grand objects a little remote correspond to sentiments 
we no longer possess. 

The first aspect is singular; — you have just entered the 
court of the Vatican ; you have seen a pile of buildings, 
and, overhead, a series of window-sashes giving to the 
edifice the appearance of a vast conservatory. With this 
impression in your head, you mount innumerable steps, and 
at the landing-place a polite, obsequious * Swiss p pockets 
your two pauls with a smile of thanks. You now stand 
in a spacious hall encumbered with paintings. Which 
will you look at first? Here is the ' Battle of Constantine/ 


designed by Raphael and executed by Julio Romano— « 
in brickdust, I suppose ; probably, too, it has been wet 
by the rain, and the colour has disappeared in places 
You pass on through a long glazed portico, where the 
arabesques of Raphael ought to be ; but you no longer 
find them, the faint traces of them still existing, showing 
that they were there once, but likewise showing that the 
walls have been pretty well scratched by somebody. You 
throw your head back, and, on the ceiling, observe the 
fifty-two biblical subjects called the Loggia of Raphael ; 
five or six of these remain entire, while the rest appear to 
have been brushed away with a long-handled broom. 
Besides, was it worth while, in making masterpieces, to 
make them so small and place them so high, and reduce 
them to the service of the panels of a ceiling ? 
Evidently, in the architect's mind these were simply 
accessories, a decorative motive for a promenade : when 
the Pope came here, after dinner, for fresh air, he could 
eee at regular intervals a group or a torso, if by chance 
he raised his head. You return and make your first 
circuit of the four celebrated stanze of Raphael. These 
were the apartments of Julius II. : here the Pope trans- 
acted business, and in one of them signed his briefs. The 
painter here is secondary ; the apartment was not made for 
his work, but it for the apartment. The light is dim, and 
half of the frescoes remain in shadow. The ceiling is 
overcharged, the subjects stifle each other. The colouring 
is faded out, and cracks cover half of the forms and heads. 
The faces are mottled with the pallid spots of dampness, 
also the drapery and architecture ; the skies are no longer 
brilliant, but are covered with the leprous stains of 
mould, while the goddesses undci the arch are peeling off. 
And yet strangers with guide-book in hand comment 
loudly and freely, and copyists are shifting their ladders 
about the floor. Imagine, in the midst of all this, tho 

142 ROME. 

unfortunate visitor twisting his neck off in manoeuvring 
an opera-glass ! 

Nineteen out of twenty of those who visit this place 
must certainly be disenchanted, and exclaim, with open 
mouth, ' Is this all ? ' It is with these frescoes as with 
the mutilated texts of Sophocles and Homer; give a 
thirteenth-century manuscript to an ordinary reader, and 
do you suppose that he can decipher it ? If he is honest, 
he will not comprehend your admiration of it, and will 
gladly exchange it for one of Dickens's romances, or a lied 
by Heine. I, too, comprehend that I do not compre- 
hend, and that two or three visits must be made to enable 
me to make the necessary abstractions and restorations. 
Meanwhile, I am going to say what strikes me disagreeably, 
and that is that all these figures pose. 

I have just been into the upper story to see the 
celebrated ' Transfiguration,' which is pronounced the 
great masterpiece of art. Is there in the world a 
more mystical subject than this for a picture ? Heaven 
itself opening, beatified beings appearing, forms of flesh 
and blood freed from gross terrestrial conditions and 
ascending into glory and splendour ; the delirium and 
sublimity of ecstacy, a veritable miracle, a vision like that 
of Dante when he rose into Paradise with his eyes 
fixed on the beaming orbs of Beatrice! The appari- 
tion of angels in Rembrandt's picture came into my mind, 
that rose of mysterious figures flashing out suddenly 
in the black night, terrifying the flocks and proclaiming 
to the shepherds that a Saviour was born. The Hollander 
in his misty atmosphere felt these evangelical terrors 
and these raptures ; he saw. and he thrilled to the cei tre 
of his being with the poignant sentiment of life and of 
truth ; things, in fine, occurred as he shows them to us ; 
before his picture we believe because we witness the 
occurrence. Is Raphael a believer in his miracle ? He 


believes, first of all, that he must select and compose his 
attitudes. That handsome young woman on her knees 
thinks how she shall hold her arms; the three salient 
muscles of the left arm form an agreeable line ; the fall 
of the loins and the tension of the entire frame from the 
back to the heel form precisely the pose that would be 
arranged in a studio. The figure with a book thinks how 
he shall show a well-drawn foot ; another lifting an arm, 
and that next him, holding the possessed child, gesticulate 
like actors. And what of those apostles who allow them- 
gelves to fall into such a symmetrical group ? Moses and 
Elias in glory, on either side of Christ, are swimmers 
' striking out.' Christ himself, with his feet so nicely 
drawn, the large toes separated from the others, is simply 
a fine figure ; his insteps and elbows are of more conse 
quence to him than his divinity. 

This is not impotence but system, or rather instinct, for 
at that time there was no such thing as system. I have 
before my eyes a celebrated engraving of the ' Massacre 
of the Innocents.' I am confident that his innocents are 
in no danger. The tall fellow on the left, displaying his 
pectoral muscles, and that in the centre who exposes the 
hollow of his spine, are not going to kill the little creatures 
they grasp. My good fellows, you are healthy and good- 
looking, and know how to display your muscles, but 
you are not up to your profession! What poor execu- 
tioners you are for a king like Herod ! As for the 
mothers, they do not love their offspring ; they are tran- 
quilly making their escape ; if they make any noise 
they do it moderately, lest they should disturb the har- 
mony of their attitudes ; both mothers and executioners 
form an assembly of calm Jig "iir ants, framed in by a bridge 
extending between two buildings. The same thing 
struck me at Hampton Court in the famous cartoons ; 
the Apostles convicting Ananias advance to the edge of 

144 ROME. 

tlie platform, as a chorus of opera-singers advance up t<s 
the footlights in the fifth act. 

On descending, you place yourself again before the 
frescoes of the stanze, for instance, before the 6 Conflagra- 
tion of Borgo.' What a poor conflagration, and how little in 
it of the terrible ! Fourteen figures kneeling on a stair- 
case constitute a crowd ; there is no clanger of these people 
crushing each other, for their motions show that they are 
in no haste. In fact, the fire is not burning ; how could it 
burn without wood to consume, stifled as it is by stone 
architecture ? There is no conflagration here — only two 
rows of columns, broad steps, a palace in the background, 
and groups spread here and there similar to the peasants, 
who at this moment are lying or seated on the steps of 
St. Peter's. The principal figure is a well-fed young 
man suspended by his two arms, and who finds time to 
practise gymnastics. A father, on tiptoe, receives an 
infant, which its mother hands to him from the top of a 
wall, — they are about as uneasy as if they were handling 
a basket of vegetables. A man carries off his father on 
his shoulders ; his naked son is by his side, and the wife 
follows, — antique sculpture, iEneas bearing Anchises, 
with Ascanias and Creusa. Two females carry vases 
and are shrieking, — the caryatides of a Greek temple 
would display the same action. I can only regard this 
work as a painted bas-relief, and a complement to the 

Engrossed by this idea, dwelling on it, or rathet 
allowing it to develop itself, it bears fruit. Why, indeed, 
should not frescoes be a complement of architecture ? Ig 
it not a mistake to consider them wholly by themselves? 
We must place ourselves at the same point of view as tho 
painter in order to enter into his ideas ; and certainly sucl* 
was the point of view of Raphael. The * Conflagratior 
of Borgo ' is comprehended within the space of an orna- 
mental arc which had to be filled up. The * Parnasus 


and ' the Deliverance of St. Peter ' surmount, one a door 
Arid the other a window, and their position imposes upon 
them their shape. These paintings are not appended to 
but form a portion of the edifice^ and cover it as a skin 
covers the body. Why, then, belonging to the edifice 
should they not be a;\ utectural ? There is an innate 
logic in all these grea" works ; it is for me to forget my 
modern education in order to arrive at its meaning. 

At the present day we view pictures in exhibitions, and 
each picture exists for itself ; in the artist's mind it is a 
complete thing and stands apart, and, as far as he is con- 
cerned, it may be hung anywhere. The painter has 
abstracted from nature or from history a landscape or a 
scene, the interest of which to him is his chief object ; in 
this respect he acts like a novelist or a dramatist ; he 
maintains a dialogue with us by ourselves. He is bound U) 
be veracious and dramatic ; if he shows us a battle let it 
be the ' Barricades ' of Delacroix ; if a Christ consoling 
the poor in heart, let it be the divine Christ of the weak 
and suffering by Rembrandt, with its mellow halo and 
mournful reflections vanishing in misty obscurity. But 
in decorative art the motive is quite different, and the 
picture changes with the motive. Here is the arc of a 
window with a simple, grave curve; the line is a noble 
one, and a border of ornamentation accompanies its 
beautiful sweep. The two sides, however, and the space 
above remain empty, and are to be filled, and they can be 
filled only with figures as ample and as grave as the 
architecture ; personages abandoned to the fury of human 
passion would be incongruous; the license of natural 
groupings cannot be imitated here. It is necessary to 
compose and arrange the figures according to the height of 
the panel, some either stooping or infantile introduced at 
the top of the arc, and others erect or adult, along its sides, 
The composition is not isolated ; it is the complement of 

146 ROME. 

the window, and proceeds, like the entire palace, from 
a unique idea. A vast royal edifice is naturally grand 
and calm, and it imposes its grandeur and calmness on its 
decoration, that is to say, on its paintings. 

But especially must it be kept in mind that the spec- 
tator of that day was not the spectator of our day. For 
the pas* three hundred years our brains have been em- 
ployed on reasonings and on moral distinctions ; we have 
become critics and observers of internal phenomena. Shut 
up in our apartments, incased in our black coats, and well 
protected by a police, we have neglected corporeal life and 
bodily exercise ; we conform to the drawing-room standard, 
and seek pleasure in conversation and in the cultivation 
of our intellects ; we study niceties of social intercourse 
and peculiarities of character ; we read and comment on his- 
torians and novelists by hundreds ; we have loaded our- 
selves down with literature. The human mind is barren 
of imagery and overflowing with ideas ; what it compre- 
hends, and what affects it at present in painting, is the 
human tragedy or the real life of which it obtains glimpses 
in the world of society or among rural scenes, as in the 
' Larmoyeur' of Ary Scheffer, the ' Mare au Soleil 9 of 
Decamps, and ' L'Eveque de Liege,' by Delacroix. In 
these we find as in a poem the confessions of an impas- 
sioned soul, a sort of judgment on human life ; what we 
geek through the medium of colour and form is sentiments. 
In those days they sought for nothing of the kind. The 
current of actual life, which interests us in inward emotion 
and in its outward expression, interested them in the nude 
figure and in the movements of the animal form. We 
ha^e only to read Cellini, the correspondence of Aretino, 
and the historians of that era, in order to see how corporeal 
and perilous life was ; how man took justice in his own 
hands, how he was assaulted on his promenades and on 
his journeys, how he was forced to keep his hand con- 


Btantly on his sword or arquebuss, and never to leave his 
house without a giacco or poignard. The great assassinated 
each other with impunity, and even in their palaces shared 
with the vulgar the coarsest of manners. Pope Julius, 
one day irritated at Michael Angelo, thrashed one of his 
prelates because he attempted to interfere. Who of the 
preient day comprehends the action of a muscle except a 
Burgeon or an artist? Then everybody did; not only 
lords but louts, the man of rank as well as the most in- 
significant rustic. The practice of interchanging blows 
with sword and fist, of jumping, of playing at tennis, and 
of tilting, and the necessity of being strong and agile, 
abundantly supplied the imagination with every variety of 
form and attitude. A little nude cupid viewed from the 
soles of his feet and darting off with his caduceus, or a 
vigorous youth throwing himself back upon his haunches, 
awoke ideas as familiar then as nowadays any intriguer or 
financier or woman of the world portrayed by Balzac. 
On seeing them the spectator imitated their action sympa- 
thetically, for it is sympathy, or involuntary semi-imitation, 
which renders the work of art possible ; without this it is 
not understood, not born. The public must imagine the 
object without an effort ; it must figure to itself in- 
stantaneously its antecedents, accompaniments, and con- 
sequences. Always when an art predominates the con- 
temporary mind contains its essential elements; whether, 
as in the arts of poetry and music, these consist of ideas or 
of sentiments ; or, as in sculpture and painting, they consist 
af colours or of forms. Everywhere art and intelligence 
encounter each other, and this is why the first expresses 
the second and the second produces the first. Hence it 
we find in the Italy of that period a revival of pagan art 
it is because there was a revival of pagan manners nnd 
norals. Ccesar Borgia, on capturing a certain town in the 
kingdom of Naples, reserved to himself forty of its most 

148 ROME. 

beautiful women. Burchard, the pope's cameriere, de« 
scribes certain fetes somewhat like those given in the 
time of Cato in the theatres of Rome. With the senti- 
ment of the nude, with the exercise of the muscles and 
the expansion of physical activity, the love of and worship 
of the human form appeared a second time. 

All Italian art turns upon this idea, namely, the resus 
citation of the naked figure ; the rest is simply preparation, 
development, variety, alteration, or decline. Some, like the 
Venetians, display its grandeur and freedom of movement, 
its magnificence and voluptuousness ; others, like Coreg- 
gio, its exquisite sweetness and grace, others, like the 
Bolognese, its dramatic interest ; others, like Caravaggio, 
its coarse striking reality, all in short, caring for nothing 
beyond the truthfulness, grace, action, voluptuousness and 
magnificence of a fine form, naked or draped, raising an 
arm or a leg. If groups exist it is to complete this idea, 
to oppose one form to another, to balance one sensation by 
a similar one. When landscape comes it simply serves 
as a background and accessory, and is as subordinate as 
moral expression on the countenance or historical accuracy 
in the subject. The question is, do you feel interested in 
expanded muscles moving a shoulder and throwing back 
the body bow-like on the opposite thigh ? It is within this 
limited circle that the imagination of the great artists of 
that day wrought, and in the centre of it you find Raphael 

This becomes still more apparent on reading their lives 
by Vasari. The artists of that period are mechanics and 
manufacturers employing apprentices. A pupil does not 
pass through college and fill his mind with literature and 
general ideas, but goes at once into a studio and works, 
Some character, naked or draped, is the form into which all 
his sentiments are cast. Raphael's education was like that 
of other artists. Vasari cites his youthful performances, 
which are nothing but Madonnas, always Madonnas 


His master Perugmo, was a saint manufacturer ; he might 
have displayed this title on a signboard. Even his own 
saints are plain altar saints, poorly emancipated from the 
consecrated pose: they display but little animation, and 
when in groups of three or four each appears as if alone. 
They are objects of devotion quite as much as works cf 
art ; people kneel before them and implore their favour ; 
they are not yet exclusively painted to please the eye. 
Raphael is to pass years in this school, studying the 
position of an arm, the folds of stuffs of gold, and a 
tranquil meditative countenance, before he goes to 
Florence to contemplate forms of greater amplitude and 
greater freedom of action. Such a culture as this is to 
concentrate all his faculties on one point ; all the vague 
aspirations, all the sublime and touching reveries which 
occupy the leisure hours of a man of genius, are to run in 
the direction of contour and action; he is to think 
through forms as we think through phrases. 



Raphael led a singularly* noble, happy life, and this rare 
order of happiness is perceptible in all his works. The 
ordinary trials of artists, their wasted hopes and the pangs 
of wounded pride, were unknown to him. He was 
not a victim to poverty, humiliation, or neglect. At the 
age of twenty-five he found himself without an effort first 
among the artists of his time ; his uncle Bramante spared 
him all intrigue and all solicitation. On seeing his first 
fresco the Pope caused others to be effaced, and ordered 
that the entire decoration of his apartments should be en- 
trusted to his hand. But one rival was opposed to him,, 
Michael Angelo, whom so far from envying Raphael 
honoured with as much of admiration as respect. His 
letters indicate the modesty and serenity of his nature. 
He was exceedingly amiable and exceedingly beloved; 
the great protected and welcomed him, and his pupils 
formed around him a concourse of admirers and comrades. 
He had not to contend with man nor with his own heart 
Love does not seem to have ruffled his spirit, this passion 
in him never being accompanied with either sorrow or 
torment Unlike most painters he was not compelled to 
bring forth his conceptions in painful travail, but produced 
them as a fine tree produces its fruit; the vitality of the tree 
was great and its culture perfect ; inspiration flowed natur- 
ally and the hand executed without difficulty. Finally, 


tlie imagery in which he most delighted seemed ex- 
pressly designed to maintain his spirit in repose. He had 
passed his early youth among the Madonnas of Perugino, 
pious, gentle maidens of virgin innocence and infantile 
grace, but healthy and untouched by the mystic fever oi 
the middle ages. He then contemplated the noble forms 
and free spirit of antiquity, the placid joyousness of tha* 
extinct world the fragments of which were but just ex 
humed. At length from these two types he obtained an 
ideal of his own, and his mind wandered through a world 
animated with vigorous impulses, one that expanded 
like the antique city with joyousness and youthful 
energy, but over which the purity, candour, and benefi- 
cence of a new inspiration spread an unknown charm ; it 
seemed to be a garden, the plants of which, quickened by 
pagan impulse, produced half- Christian flowers that 
bloomed with a more diffident and a sweeter smile. 

I can now examine his works, and first the ' Madonna de 
Foligno,' in the Vatican. You are at once impressed with 
the meek and modest air of the Virgin, the timidity with 
which she touches the blue girdle of her infant, and the 
charming effect of the gilded border of her red robe. In all 
his early works, and in almost all of his Madonnas, he has 
preserved some souvenir of what he felt at Perugia and 
at Assissi, where he was surrounded by simple traditions of 
spiritual love and felicity. The young girls he paints 
are youthful communicants possessing still undeveloped 
souls ; religion, in covering them with her wings, has 
retarded their growth; they are women in form but 
children in thought. To find similar expression now- 
adays we must seek for it in the innocent features of 
nuns immured in convents from infancy, and never brought 
in contact with the world. It is evident that he studied 
lovingly and carefully, with all the delicate sentiment of a 
fresh young heart, the refined curves of the nose, the fine 

152 ROME. 

modelling of small mouths and ears, and the reflections 
of light on soft auburn tresses. An infant's blooming 
smile charmed him, and a thigh like that which so gently 
presses against that belly. Only a mother can appre- 
ciate the tender complacency with which the eye dwells 
on beauties like these ! The painter is another Petrarch, 
musing over his reveries and unweariedly expressing them. 
Sonnet after sonnet, he makes fifty on the same face, and 
passes weeks in purifying verses in which he deposits hia 
secret joy. He has no need of action or of noisy excite- 
ment ; he does not aim at effect, and is insensible to the 
shock of surrounding circumstances. He is not a comba- 
tant like Michael Angelo, nor a voluptuary like his con- 
temporaries,, but a charming dreamer appearing just at the 
time when the world knew how to fashion the human form. 
Nowhere is this delicacy of feeling more apparent than 
in the ' Descent from the Cross' in the Borghese palace. 
Raphael was twenty-three years of age when he executed 
this work, and approaching but not yet entered on the 
period in which he painted his frescoes. He has already 
got beyond the cold mannerism of Perugino, and begun to 
animate his figures, although with a sort of timidity and 
some traces of stiffness. On both sides of the corpse are 
groups balancing each other, three men on the left, and 
four females on the right, in attitudes already varied and 
quite beautiful. The freshness of creative power glows 
in this work like the dawn. Not that the picture is 
affecting, as Vasari insists ; one must go to Delacroix 
for the despairing mother over a corpse, the veritable 
funereal bier, the deep grief of nature, the confused folda 
of a red mantle in tragic contrast with the lugubrious tints 
of a purple background. The conspicuous feature here 
is a rich, blooming adolescence ; nothing can be finer than 
the noble young man who bends backward in order to 
support the corpse, a sort of Greek ephebos with the red 


cnemide heightened in effect by a bordering of gold; 
nothing more fascinating than the young woman with 
braided tresses who, half-stooping, extends her arms to 
the afflicted mother in order to sustain her. These figures 
are virginal and gaily* attired as if for a fete, and their eyes 
beam with the most winning gentleness. Delicate flowers 
here and there open their calyxes, and the horizon is crossed 
with a few slender trees. A soul as noble and graceful as 
that of Mozart is here budding and about to bloom. 

Erom this you pass to his pagan works, and on seeing 
his sketches you enter on the field at once. I have 
examined them at Paris, Oxford, and London, The 
feeling of the painter is here caught on the wing ; you 
get at the original inspiration, intact, as it existed in his 
mind before he had put it into shape for the public. His 
inspiration is wholly pagan; he appreciates the animal 
form as the ancients did; not alone pure anatomy of 
which he has acquired a knowledge, a lifeless form that 
he has fixed in his mind, a covering of drapery which he 
is obliged to comprehend in order to represent particular 
actions, but he loves nudity itself, the vigorous joints of a 
thigh, the superb vitality of a muscular back, all that a 
man possesses characteristic of the athelete and the racer. 
I know of nothing in the world so beautiful as his 
drawing of the ' Marriage of Alexander and Roxana,' a 
photograph of which lies before me ; I prefer it to the 
fresco in the Borghese palace, which I have just 
examined. The figures are nude, and you might imagine 
yourself in attendance on a Greek fete, so natural is their 
nudity, and so remote from every idea of indecency or 
even voluptuousness; the simple joyousness and charm- 
ing gaiety of youth, the healthiness and beauty of bodies 
developed in the pahestrum, are as prominent here as in 
the best days of antiquity. A little cupid drags a large 
Ouirass, too heavy for his infantile limbs ; two others 

154 ROME. 

bear a lance ; others place one of their comrades on t 
buckler, who is pouting as they bear him along, dancing 
and capering in glee and gladness. The hero advances 
as noble as the Apollo Belvidere, but more virile, while 
no words can express the animated radiant smile of his 
two young associates, who are pointing to the gentle 
Roxana, seated and awaiting his coming. Mingled grace 
and goodness, and an air of happiness radiate from all 
these heads ; the bodies move and demean themselves as 
if revelling in simple existence. That beautiful young 
girl is the bride of early days ; neither she nor her com- 
panions need drapery, and it is a mistake to give it to 
them in the fresco ; they may remain as they are without 
immodesty ; like the gods and heroes of ancient sculptors 
they are pure ; the free expansion of a corporeal being is 
as natural with them as the blooming of flowers. The 
goddesses of this adolescent world, the immortal Hebe, 
and the serene gods seated on luminous heights to which 
neither the brutality of the seasons nor the miseries of 
human life can attain, may here be recognised a second 
time. They are also present in the c Judgment of Paris/ 
as engraved by Marc-Antoine. You might pass hours in 
contemplating the torso of that river-god reposing amidst 
the reeds, those grave goddesses standing around the 
shepherd, those superb nymphs resting so nobly at the 
base of the rock, the magnificent shoulder of the leaning 
naiad, and the heroic cavaliers, who, aloft in the air, res- 
train their fiery steeds. It seems as if eighteen centuries 
were suddenly effaced from history, that the middle ages 
were simply a nightmare, and that after many years of 
gloomy, barren legends, mankind had suddenly awakened 
and discovered that but a day removed it from Sophocles 
and Phidias. 

I visited Santa Maria della Pace, with its round, ugly, 
bulging fa9ade; you enter, however, through a pretty 


fittle cloister by Bramante, in which are two elegant 
arcades, serving as promenades. This church is over- 
decorated, like all the churches of Rome ; on the left is 
the tomb of a cardinal of the sixteenth century — a meagre 
form reclining with his head resting on his hand, in all 
the tragic sublimity of death ; sepulchres and gilding, the 
two extremes the best calculated to excite the imagina- 
tion, are here the dominant attributes of worship. The 
contrast is striking on seeing the four Sibyls of Raphael 
undsr an arc in the last chapel on the left. They stand, 
sit, or recline, according as the curve of the arch re- 
quires, while cherubs, presenting them with parchment to 
write on, complete the group. Solemn, tranquil, elevated 
like antique goddesses above human action, they are 
truly superhuman creations ; a calm gesture suffices — it 
is a complete revelation ; theirs is not a diffused or transi- 
tory being, but one ever existing immutably in an eternal 
present One need not seek for illusion here, for relief; 
such are the apparitions of a vision, and only discernible 
with closed eyes in moments of deep, silent emotion. 
This man has put all the nobleness of his heart, all his 
solitary conceptions of sublime and tranquil happiness, 
into these forms and attitudes, into that fraternal inter* 
weaving of beautiful arms, which, peacefully extended, 
seek each other, and form that garland. If we could at 
any time banish from our minds the sad and repulsive 
souvenirs of life, and could obtain a passing glance 
of a group of adolescent women and children like these, 
we should be happy and conceive of nothing beyond. 
One especially, standing and inclining backward, and 
elowly turning her head, has a proud savage eye, showing 
the peculiar half-divine, half-animal grandeur of primitive 
beings. Behind her is a wrinkled, hooded old woman, 
but so transfigured that she appears beautiful like the 
aged of the Elysian Fields of Virgil. On the other side 

156 HOME. 

sits a gentle young woman in the flower of life, the full 
contour of her face expressing the perfection of goodness 
and tranquillity. 

I go back at last to the Vatican, and all my impressiona 
change. I have now placed myself at the proper stand- 
point. That which appeared to me cold and artificial is 
just what pleases me. A germ exists of which the lest 
is simply development, and this is a sound beautiful 
body, solidly and simply painted in an attitude manifest- 
ing the power and perfection of its structure. This alone 
we must seek for; the other elements of art are subordi- 
nate. A picture is like a rhythmical musical phrase, 
wherein each note is pure, and which dramatic passion 
never so far modifies as to introduce discords or screeching. 
So regarded, this or that action, which seems a studied 
one, is like a full and accurate chord ; I have to take it 
by itself, abstracting both subject and resemblance, and 
my eye enjoys it as the ear enjoys a rich harmonious 
strain of music. 

This crowd of figures now speak, and they only speak 
too loudly. There are too many of them; one can no 
longer describe. I will merely mention those that make 
the strongest impression on me. 

And first is the Loggia of the Vatican, and in the 
Loggia the great Herculean form of the Almighty, who, 
in a single bound that fully displays his limbs, tra- 
verses the realm of darkness. Next the graceful form 
of Eve plucking the apple, her charming head, and the 
vigorous muscles of her youthful form as it turns on tL e 
hips, — all these figures, so powerful in their structure and 
so easy in action. Next the white caryatides of the 
Hall of Heliodorus, simple light-grey figures, veritable 
goddesses, sublime in their simplicity and grandeur and 
related to the antique, but with an air of gentleness and 
sweetness which Junos and Minervas do not possess; 
exempt from thought like their Greek sisters, and, in 


their unruffled serenity, occupied in turning a head 
or lifting an arm. It is with these ideal and allegorical 
figures that Raphael triumphs ; — on the ceiling Philo 
eophy, so grave and so vigorous; Jurisprudence, an 
austere virgin with downcast eyes, raising a sword ; and 
especially Poesy; and again the three goddesses seated 
before Parnassus, and who, half turning, form, with three 
children, a group worthy of ancient Olympus, all being 
incomparable figures, and above the standard of humanity. 
Like the ancients he suppresses the accidental, the fleeting 
expressions of human physiognomy ; all those details that 
characterise a being tossed and tumbled about in life's 
battle. His personages are emancipated from the laws of 
nature ; they have experienced no trials, and are incapable 
of becoming excited ; their calm attitudes are the attitudes 
of statues. You would not dare to address them; you 
are restrained by respect, a respect, nevertheless, mingled 
with sympathy, for beneath their grave exterior you 
detect a basis of goodness and feminine sensibility. 
Raphael breathed his own spirit into them ; and even 
sometimes, as in the muses of Parnassus, many of the 
young women, and among others she with the naked 
shoulder, have a penetrating suavity, and a sweetness 
almost modern. He loved these. 

All this is more forcibly displayed in the c School of 
Athens.' Those groups on the steps, above and around 
the two philosophers, never did and never could exist ; 
and it is for this very reason that they are so fine. The 
scene lies in a superior world, one which mortal eyes 
never beheld, a creation wholly of the artist's imagina- 
tion. These figures belong to the same family as the 
divinities on the ceiling. You must remain before them 
full half a day. Once realise that they are walking, and 
the scene strikes you as transcending all things here 
below. The youth in a long white robe with angelic 
features ascends the steps like a meditative apparition* 

158 ROME. 

The other, with curled locks, bending over the geometrical 
diagram, and his three companions alongside are all 
divine. It is like a dream in the clouds. As with all 
the figures of an ecstatic vision or in reveries, these may 
remain in the same attitudes indefinitely. Time does 
not pass away with them. The old man erect in a red 
mantle, and the adjoining figure regarding him, and the 
youth writing might thus continue for ever. All is well 
with them. Their being is complete ; they appear at one 
of those moments which Faust indicates when he exclaims, 
6 Stand, ye are perfect ! ' Their repose is eternal happi- 
ness ; a certain condition of things has been accomplished 
and it must not be disturbed. 

Human life, whether of the body or of the spirit, is of 
infinite and immense diversity ; but there are only certain 
portions of it, certain moments, which like a rose among 
a hundred thousand others deserve to subsist, and these 
are those attitudes. Plenitude of force and harmony of 
the human structure are here displayed without incon- 
gruity or effort. This suffices ; we ask for nothing more^ 
Two adult men suspended beneath a calm adolescent in 
erect posture constitute a beautiful form, and it is pleasant 
to forget oneself before it. The expression of the heads 
is not antagonistic: if too pensive, too real, too brilliantly 
painted, they would suggest passion or emotion ; in the 
serenity they now possess, in that sombre tint, they are 
in harmony with the quiet architectural .significance of 
the postures. 

Of all the artists I am familiar with none so much 
resemble Raphael as Spenser. On first reading him 
many find Spenser dull and formal ; nothing with him 
seems real; afterwards one ascends with him into the 
light, and personages which could not possibly exis 4 
appear divine. 



I take a cab and traverse a numbei of crooked, melan- 
choly streets. I pass over the Ponte San-Sisto and see 
on either side of the river a confused mass of hovels and 
a long range of dripping arcades ; beyond is a cluster of 
hovels, all still preserving a middle-age aspect. In a 
few moments I stand in a Renaissance palace before the 
Psyches of Raphael. 

They form the decoration of a large dining-hall wain- 
scoted with marble, the ceiling of which is curved and 
framed in by a garland of flowers and fruits. Above 
each window the garland expands in order to make room 
for the vigorous forms of Jupiter, Venus, Psyche, Mer- 
cury, and the assembly of gods that cover the entire 
arch. On raising their eyes above the table loaded 
with gold plate and monstrous fishes the convivialists 
could contemplate beautiful naked forms relieving on the 
background of Olympian blue, amongst voluptuous gar- 
lands where feminine gourds and masculine radishes re« 
minded them of the broad humour of Aristophanes. The 
courtesan Imperia could come here ; the guests — parasites 
like Tamisius, and licentious artists like Julio Romano and 
Aretino, also prelates and nobles nourished amid the 
dangers and undisguised sensuality of their age — could 
sympathetically gaze on this gay, grand, vigorous art r on 

160 ROME. 

these rudely-executed figures, whose bricklike tints are 
rather indications of their subjects than finished produc- 
tions. Frequently a daub of white and a spot of black 
make an eye ; the three nude Graces of the banquet are 
as muscular as so many wrestlers ; several of the gods — 
Hercules, Pan, Pluto, and a river-god — are simply robust 
blacksmiths dashed on with broad masses of colour as if 
for tapestry ; the cupids that transport Psyche have solid 
bloated flesh like overfed children. There is an exuber- 
ance of pagan vigorousness throughout this painting 
almost amounting to clumsiness. In Rome the type is 
rather one of strength than of elegance ; the women, 
taking but little exercise, become fleshy and heavy ; traces 
of this amplitude appear in many of Raphael's female 
figures — in his pulpy Graces, in the massive Eve, and in 
the largeness of the torso of his Venus. The paganism to 
which he inclined was not of the Attic standard, and his 
pupils who executed the paintings in this hall either half- 
neglected or else exaggerated his indications, like the 
engraver who, in reproducing a picture, is indifferent to 
its delicacies. In order to satisfy oneself of this it is only 
necessary to compare together the fresco and the original 
design of € Venus receiving the Vase.' The figure as 
originally drawn is a virgin of primitive times, inexpres- 
sibly sweet and innocent; her childlike head, as yet 
unvexed with thought, placed on a Herculean trunk 
carries the mind back involuntarily to the origin of the 
human family ; to those days when maidens were, entitled 
' milkers of the cow ; ' when simple athletic races, with 
short swords and dogs driving lions to bay, descended 
from their mountain fastnesses to colonise the universe.* 
Even through the translation of his pupils the painted 
figure here, as the fresco throughout, is still unique ; ic 
is a new type, not copied from the Greek, but proceeding 
* According to Sanscrit tradition. 


wholly from the painter's brain and his observation of the 
nude model ; of remarkable energy and plenitude, the 
muscle being brought out not through a forced imitation 
of nature, but because it is living, and the artist sym- 
pathetically enjoyed its tension. ' Psyche borne through 
the air by Cupids/ and ( Venus entreating Jupiter,' are 
of charming freshness and youthfulness. And what 
can be said of the two floral messengers with their 
butterfly wings, and of the lovely dancing Grace in the 
banquet who arrives, scarcely touching her foot to the 
ground ? All this sparkles with gaiety ; life's richest 
flowers are gathered by handfuls. In the space along- 
side of the grand goddesses are flying children ; a Cupid 
yoking a lion and a sea-horse ; another diving into the soft 
waves, in which he is going to sport himself; then white 
doves, little birds, hippogriffs, a sphinx with a dragon's 
body, and other gay creations of an ideal imaginative- 
ness. Among these phantasies winds the tufted garland, 
intermingling the splendours of spring and summer, 
pomegranate and oak-leaves, blooming daisies^ the pale 
golden lime, the satiny calyxes of the white narcissus, 
along with the opulent rotundity of the gourd family. 
How remote from his former Christian timidities ! Be- 
tween the ' Descent from the Cross ' and the Farnesian 
decoration, the breath of the spirit of the Renaissance 
passed over him and developed all his genius on the 
side of vigour and joyousness. 

His poor ' Galatea ' in the adjoining apartment has 
greatly suffered through time. She looks faded out ; part 
of the design has disappeared ; the sea and the sky are 
dull, and stained in patches. It is, nevertheless, the 
work of Raphael, as is evident in the gentleness of Gala- 
tea, in the action of the Cupid displaying his limbs so 
harmoniously, and in the originality of the conception of 
the sea gods and goddesses. The nude nymph, clasped by 


152 ROME. 

the waist, yields with an expression of charming coquetry ; 
the bearded triton with his Roman nose, who clutches 
and enfolds her in his nervous arms, displays the alert* 
ness and spirit of an animal god inhaling with the salt 
air of the sea huge drafts of force and contentment. 
Behind is a female with floating blonde hair seated on 
the back of the god that bears her off, her arched back 
bending with masterly elegance. The painter does not 
abandon himself to his subject; he remains sober and 
ten perate, avoiding all extremes of action and expression, 
ever purifying his types and composing his attitudes. 
This natural love of proportion and those affectionate 
instincts, which, as with Mozart, led him to portray innate 
goodness, that delicacy of spirit and of organs which 
everywhere made him seek the noble and the gentle, all 
that is happy, generous, and worthy of tenderness, the sin- 
gular good fortune of encountering art on its dividing line 
between perfection and decline, that unique advantage of 
a twofold education, which, after showing him Christian 
purity and innocence, made him sensible of the vigour and 
joyousness of paganism ; all these gifts and circumstances 
were necessary in order to carry him onward to the sum- 
mit. Vasari justly says : ' If one desires to see clearly 
how generous, how prodigal, heaven sometimes is in 
accumulating on one person the infinite wealth of its 
treasures, all those graces and rare endowments which are 
commonly scattered among several during a long period 
of time, let him contemplate Raphael Sanzio d'Urbino.' 

The Museums, April 15. — There are some Jays when 
you can take up an idea, and follow it as on a straight 
road, and others like those I have just passed when you 
wander off right and left among the by-roads. Finding 
myself near the Vatican, I again ascended to its upper 
stories and revisited that precious museum. How many 
things a picture contains ! The province of painting, as 


with the other arts of design, is to gather an artist's ideas 
into one simultaneous concentrated effect. The other arts, 
music and poetry, disperse the impression. 

I again contemplate the charming ' Christ' of Correg- 
gio, seated half-naked on a cloud, smiling and surrounded 
by angels, the most amiable, rosy, and graceful youth that 
ever existed ; a c Doge ' by Titian, in yellow robes, so 
real, with such a distinct and striking personality, and yet 
bo exquisitely painted, that the smallest fold of his laboured 
drapery is a luxury for the eye to rest on ; an c Entomb- 
ment ' by Caravaggio, full of figures and activity, studied 
from life, — vigorous porters with varicose veins, and young 
females bending over and weeping and drying their tears 
with all the sincerity of impressible youthfulness. To-day 
that which has impressed me most is a c St. Catharine' 
by Murillo, of a strange, disturbing attractiveness. Her 
beauty is of a dangerous order ; her oblique glance, and 
black downcast eyes gleam with secret ardour. What a 
contrast between this tint of a southern flower and that 
flame ! How impassioned a lover, and what a devotee I 
In Raphael's works, the repose which sober colour gives 
and a sculptural attitude deprive the eyes of a portion 
of their vivacity. Spanish colour, on the contrary, is 
quivering ; the unconscious sensuality of an ardent nature, 
the sudden palpitation of fugitive vehement emotions, the 
nervous excitement of voluptuousness and ecstacy, the 
force, the rage, of internal fires lurk in that flesh illumi- 
nated by its own intensity, in those ruddy tints drowned 
in those deep mysterious darks. 

The ' Prodigal Son,' on the same side, is so affectingly 
suppliant! The Spaniard is of another race than the 
Italian ; he is less well-balanced, less restrained by the 
harmonising influences of beauty ; he is carried away by 
internal commotion, and expresses his feeling and ideaa 
crudely even at the sacrifice of form 

M 3 

164 ROME. 

On contemplating Raphael's c Madonna di Foligno * a 
second time, I am confirmed in my opinion that this art is 
of another age : a modern must undergo some preparation 
i?i order to comprehend it. Which among the ordinary, 
unacquired sentiments, will interest him in the muscles of 
those two little nude angels, in that fold of the stomac h 
defining the basin of the body, in the torsion by which 
the soft hip of the infant Jesus is raised up, and the flesh 
of the thigh pressed against the belly ? All this appealed 
to a man of that time, and does not appeal to one of the 
present day. Our eyes fix themselves without effort on 
the charming humour of the two children, on the gentleness 
and modesty of the Virgin, on the timidity of her action, as 
she touches the blue girdle of the Infant; and if anything 
besides these, and the eye is sensitive, on the pleasing 
effect of the gilded border of her red robe. 

Undoubtedly the celebrated c Communion of St. 
Jerome,' by Domenichino, hanging opposite, is flimsy in 
comparison ; his hand is not so sure ; he is a little of a 
trickster ; he finds his compensation in architecture, in 
imitations of showy embroideries, and in a rich display 
borrowed from the Venetians. Reason satisfies us that 
Raphael's style is the better. She tells us, similarly, 
that Racine and Port-Royal, Lysias and Plato, write 
better than we write. But our sentiments do not enter 
into their mould, and we cannot disembarrass ourselves 
of our sentiments. 

The Capitol Museum. — I passed through the museum 
hastily on my first visit, and I was too weary. I 
believe that I have alluded to but one picture there, the 
1 Rape of Europa,' by Paul Veronese. 

The principal one is an enormous picture of ' Saint 
Petronia,' by Guercino. The body is being taken out of 
the ground while the soul is received into Paradise. This 
is a composite work ; ihe artist, according to the practice 


of schools not primitive, halving assembled together three 
or four kinds of effect. He addresses the eye with 
powerful contrasts of light and dark, and with the rich 
draperies of the saint and }/er betrothed. He imitates so 
literally as to produce illrdon : the little boy holding the 
taper is of striking fidel'fr/ — you have met him somewhere 
in the streets ; the t^o powerful men raising the body 
have all the vulgarly and masculine energy of their pro* 
fession. He is dramatic : the humble attitude of the 
saint in heaven is charming, and the head crowned with 
roses furnishes a contrast to the tragic heaviness of the 
corpse enveloped in its pale winding-sheet ; the aspect of 
Christ is tender and affectionate, and not, as elsewhere, a 
simple form. The entire subject — death, cold and lugu- 
brious, contrasted with a happy triumphant resurrection — 
serves to arrest the attention of the multitude and excite 
its emotion. Painting thus regarded leaves its natural 
limits and approaches literature. 

His c Sibyl Persica,' under her peculiar poetic head- 
dress, is already quite modern. She has one of those 
pensive, complicated, indefinable expressions which pleases 
us so greatly, a spirit of infinite delicacy, trembling 
with nervous sensibility, and whose mysterious fascina- 
tion wiii never end 

The ' Presentation of Christ at the Temple,' by Fra 
Bartolomeo. The contrast here is striking. Art and, 
I may say, civilisation were completely transformed 
between these two masters. Nothing could be nobler, 
simpler, more full of repose, and healthier than this art. 
You are the more impressed by it after having seen the 
combinations and novelties of Guercino. There are two 
epochs in Italy, that of Ariosto and the Renaissance and 
that of Tasso and the Catholic Restoration. 

A ' Magdalen/ by Tintoretto, on a heap of straw, dark, 
haggard, with hair dishevelled, and profoundly penitent 

166 ROME. 

She is weeping and praying. Through the entrance of the 

cavern gleams the mournful crescent moon; that glimpse 
of the desert, with the terrors of night above the poor 
sobbing creature, is heart-rending. The more one sees ci 
Tintoretto, the more does one find in him on a grand 
scale the same temperament as Delacroix, the same sen* 
tinient of the tragic in the real, the same impetuous 
sympathy excited by contact with outward objects, and 
the same talent for expressing the crudity, nakedness, 
and energy of truth and of passion. 

Wandering around the Capitol lately, I entered the 
Academy of St. Luke. Few galleries in Rome are equal 
to this. 

Here are two large pictures by Guido. One represents 
' Fortune ' a naked goddess, flying above the earth, and 
holding a diadem in her hand. The other is the * Rape 
of Ariadne ; ' the deep blue sea extends into infinity, and 
a tall white female stands on a rock, while another ap- 
proaches her leading a handsome youth, draped, and near 
by is a reclining female playing with an infant. Nothing 
could be more easy and elegant. The painters of this 
age possessed all types, and this one delighted in the 
softer and more agreeable reminiscences of Greek beauty. 
His painting, however, lacks substance ; it is too white, 
and reminds you of the platitude and conventionality of 
the tragedies of the eighteenth century. 

A somewhat dilapidated fresco by Raphael places this 
deficiency in full light. It is only a naked infant, but as 
strong, animated, and simple as a Pompeian antique ; the 
eyes are beaming; this solid young figure shows the first 
awakening of curiosity in the soul. 

A small picture, scarcely more than a sketch, by Rubens, 
is a masterpiece. Two nude women are crowning a com- 
panion, whilst small white Cupids overhead form a garland 
They are not too fat, and their action is so natural, sc 


elegant ! This term seems strange as applied to Rubens, 
But nobody like him has so appreciated the flexibility oi 
the human form, and so directly recorded his impressions. 
Life in *jtLer artists, on comparing them with him, seems 
to be stagnant. He alone has comprehended the fluid 
softness of flesh, the instantaneous. This, in fact, is the 
nature of life; it is the jet of an exhaustless fountain that 
never remains stationary; in animated flesh the blood 
rushes to and fro with the velocity of a torrent ; this pul- 
sation of a substance in incessant motion is visible in his 
freshness of tint and in the fluidity of his forms. But I 
risk saying too much on Rubens ; no works afford such a 
rich and inexhaustible treasury for the observer of man. 

On this domain the Venetians alone approach him. 
They reduce his exuberance, but they ennoble it. There 
are Palma Vecchios and Titians here whose voluptuous 
richness and superb flesh reveal a whole w x orld beyond 
that of Roman art. Palma Vecchio stands at its en- 
trance ; his splendid vigorous colour, like a glaring 
ruddy sunset, his powerful modelling and the magnifi- 
cent torsions of his substantial figures announce a 
primitive taste, that of force ; in every school you first 
discover the simple and grave type ; only later do they 
refine and render it seductive. 

Titian stands in the centre, equally strong on the side 
of sensuality and on that of energy. In a beautiful Italian 
landscape, fading away in blue distance, and near a foun- 
tain whose waters are disbursed by a little Cupid, his 
Callisto has fallen, violently stripped by her nymphs. No 
mere prettiness or epicureanism exists in this bold ccm*> 
position. The nymphs do their office brutally, like com- 
mon women with vigorous arms. One, especially, erect 
and with a superb, almost masculine, torso, is a virago 
capable of giving a man a drubbing. Another, with the 
cruel malice of an experienced hand, bends the back of 

168 ROME. 

the poor culprit, in order the sooner to detect the signs 
of her misfortune. But in his other picture, ' Vanity, 
naked on a white bed with a sceptre and crown, a wav- 
ing and elegant figure so seductively soft, is the most 
alluring mistress that a patrician could deck with his 
purple, and make use of at evening to feed his practised 
$yes with exquisite sensuality. — Paul Veronese comes 
last. He is a decorator, free of the virile gigantic lusti- 
ness which often carries Titian away ; the most skilful 
of all in the art of distilling and combining those pleasures 
which pure colour in its contrasts, gradations, and har- 
monies, affords the eye. His picture represents a woman 
occupied in arranging her hair before a mirror held by a 
little Cupid. A violet curtain enlivens with its faded 
tints the beautiful flesh framed in by white linen. A 
small plaited border rests its delicate frill on the amber 
softness of the breast. The auburn hair is gathered in 
curls over the brow on the edge of the temples. You 
see the forms of the thigh and breasts beneath the che- 
mise. With that vague vinous blush on those mingled 
faded darks of dead leaves, the entire flesh, permeated with 
inward light, palpitates, and its round pulpy forms seem 
to be trembling as if with a caress. 

The picture the most contemplated is ' Lucretia and 
Sextus,' by Cagnacci, an artist of I know not what epoch, 
but certainly a late one. You may imagine its dramatic 
subject and its treatment with a view to dramatic effect. 
Naked, on white linen and red drapery, lying on hex 
back with her head lower than her bosom, she is strug- 
gling with and repelling the breast of the villain. This 
charming delicate female form crushed down by physical 
force excites pity. The slightest details are affecting ; 
in her waving hair there are white pearls unloosening 
themselves. He, however, in his blue doublet striped 
•with gold, seems to be a ruffian of the day, some assassin 


Osio, and grand seignor, like him of whom the trial of 
Virginia de Leyva shows us the manly bearing, fine 
manners and assassinations. A slave awaits under a 
large portico, holding his master's sword. Similar expe- 
ditions were made to the convent of Monza, near Milan, 
%t the beginning of the seventeenth century. 




The Sistine Chapel and the Sixteenth Century. — Do you 
remember our visit last year to the Ecole des Beaux* 

Arts with Louis B , a cultivated, intelligent, and 

learned man, if there is one, to see the copy of Michael 
Angelo's ' Last Judgment ' P Yawning, and diverting 
himself at our expense, he declared that he preferred 
the ' Last Judgment ' of the English artist Martin. c At 
all events/ he exclaimed, ' you have got the scene 
itself, heaven, earth, lightning, and the immense throng 
of the dead flocking from their graves by legions undei 
the supernatural light of the last day and night. Here 
there is neither heaven, earth, hell, nor abyss ; nothing but 
two or three hundred figures posing.' You replied that 
Michael Angelo did not paint heaven, earth, hell, 01 
abyss, that he did not regard infinity and supernatural 
light as personages, that he was a sculptor with the 
human form as his sole means of expression, that his fresce 
must be regarded as a sort of bas-relief in which the gran 
deur and spirit of his attitudes replace the rest ; and that 
if we of the present day, in this final tragedy, give promi- 
nence to space, lightning, and an indistinct throng of 
diminutive figures, it was then given to a few colossi 
expressing the same tragic sentiment through draped and 
difficult attitudes. 

Whence comes this change? And why should that 


age be so much interested in muscles? It is because 
muscles were closely observed. I have reread the writers 
of the time, the details of the education and violent 
manners and customs of the sixteenth century ; if one 
wishes to understand an art, it is important to study the 
spirit of the people to which it appeals. 

e I require/ says Castiglione, in giving the portrait of 
the accomplished gentleman, 'that our courtier be a 
complete horseman ; and, as it is a special merit of Italians 
to govern the horse with the bridle, to manoeuvre him sys- 
tematically — especially horses difficult of control — to run 
with the lance, and to joust, let him in these matters be 
an Italian among the best. In tourneys and passages at 
arms, and in races between barriers, let him be one of the 
good among the best of the French. In cudgelling, bull- 
fighting, casting darts and lances, let him excel among 
the Spaniards. It is proper, moreover, that he should be 
skilled in running and in jumping. Another noble exercise 
is tennis. And I do not esteem it a slight merit to be able 
to leap a horse.' All these were not simple precepts 
given in conversation and in books, but were in conformity 
with conduct and customs. Julian de Medici, assassi- 
nated by the Pazzi^ is praised by his biographer, not only 
for his poetic talent and his tact as a connoisseur, but 
for his skill in horsemanship, in wrestling, and in throw- 
ing the javelin. Caesar Borgia, the noted politician, is aa 
accomplished in pugilism as in intrigue. c He is twenty- 
seven years of age,' says a contemporary, ' handsome and 
tall, and the pope, his father, holds him in great fear. He 
has slain six savage bulls in contending against them 
with a pike on horseback, and cleft the head of one of 
these bulls at the first blow.' Italy at this time fur- 
nishes Europe with its most skilful masters of arms ; in 
the engravings of that day Ave see the pupil naked with a 
poniard in one hand and a sword in the other, preparing 

in ROME. 

himself, and rendering his muscles supple from head to 
foot, like the antique athlete or wrestler. 

And it is necessary, for public order is badly main- 
tained. € On the 20th September,' says a chronicler, 
* there was great tumult in the city of Rome, and the 
merchants closed their shops. Those who were in their 
fields, or in their vineyards, returned home in all haste, 
and seized their arms, because it was announced for a 
certainty that Pope Innocent VIII. was dead.' The 
feeble ties holding society together were easily broken, 
and people returned to a savage state, each one profiting 
by the occasion to rid himself of his enemies. It must 
not be inferred by this that they abstained from attacking 
each other in times of tranquillity. The private feuds of the 
Colonna and the Orsini kept Home in as great a state of 
confusion as in the darkest centuries of the mediaeval 
epoch. * Even in the city many murders were committed, 
and robberies by day and by night, and scarcely a day 
passed that some one was not slain. The third day of 
September, a certain Salvator attacked his enemy, the 
Signor Beneaccaduto, notwithstanding he was bound over 
to keep the peace with him under a penalty of 500 
ducats, and he gave him two mortal blows, from which 
he died. On the fourth day the Pope sent his vice- 
cameriere, with the conservatori and all the people, to 
destroy Salvator's house. They destroyed it, and on 
that fourth day of September, Jerome, the brother of the 
said Salvator, was hung.' I might cite fifty similar 
examples. At this time man is too powerful, too much 
accustomed to do himself justice, too sudden and quick in 
his treatment of facts. ' One day,' says Guicciardini, 
' Trivulce slew in the market-place, with his own hand 3 
Borne butchers, who, with the insolence customary with 
this class, opposed the collection of taxes from which they 
had not been exempted.' As far down as 1537, lists were 


kept open at Ferrara, where deadly duels were permitted 
even to strangers, and to which boys resorted to fight 
with knives. The Princess of Faenza set four assassins 
on her husband, and, seeing that he resisted them, jumped 
from her bed and stabbed him herself. Upon this, her 
father entreats Lorenzo de Medicis to solicit the Pope foi 
a remission of the ecclesiastical censure of the act, alleging 
that he thinks of ' providing her with another husband/ 
The Prince of Imola is assassinated, and his body thrown 
from a window ; and on threatening his widow, shut up in 
the fortress, with the death of her children if she refused to 
surrender, she ascends to the battlements, and with a very 
expressive gesture, replies that 'the mould remains in 
which to cast others.' Consider, again, the spectacles 
daily witnessed in Rome. ' The second Sunday, a man in 
the Borgo, masked, uttered offensive words against the 
Duke Valentinois. The duke, on being informed of them, 
caused him to be seized, and had his hand cut off, also the 
anterior portion of the tongue, which was attached to the 
little finger of the severed member.' 'The follower of 
this same duke suspended two old men and eight old 
women by their arms, after having kindled a fire under 
their feet, in order to make them confess where they had 
concealed their money, and they not knowing, or not 
wishing to tell where it was, died under the said torture.' 
Another day, the duke caused some convicts (gladiandi) 
to be brought into the court of the palace, where, dressed 
in his finest clothes, and before a select and numerous com- 
pany, he transpierced them with arrows. c He also slew 
Perotto, the Pope's favourite, under the very robe of the 
Pope, so that the blood spurted up in the Pope's face. 
They were perfect throat-cutters, this family. He had 
already caused his brother-in-law to be assailed with a 
Bword, and the Pope had had the wounded man taken 
care of- but the Duke exclaimed ' What cannot be done 

174 KOME. 

at dinner may be done at supper.' € And one day, 
August 17, he entered his room, as the young man waa 
already up, and obliging his wife and sister to leave it, 
summoned three assassins, and the said young man waa 
strangled. . . . After this he slew his brother, the 
Duke of Gandie, and caused him to be thrown into the 
Tiber.' And on demanding of the fisherman, who wit- 
nessed the affair, why he had not informed the gover- 
nor of the city of it, the man replied that t during his 
lifetime he had seen on various nights more than one 
hundred bodies thrown in at the same place without any- 
body having given themselves any concern about it.' 

All this comes out in bold relief on reading the 
memoirs of Cellini. We of the present day, in the hands 
of the state, and entrusting ourselves to judges and gen- 
darmes, scarcely comprehend the natural right of force 
through which, before societies were regularly estab- 
lished, man defended and avenged himself, and obtained 
satisfaction for all his wrongs. In France, Spain, and 
England, the savage brutes of the feudal period were 
restrained by the feudal conception of honour, which, if 
not a check, kept them at least within certain limits ; the 
duel was substituted for private revenge, and men usually 
killed each other according to recognised rules, in the 
presence of witnesses, and at an appointed spot. But here 
all murderous instincts found vent in the streets. The 
various scenes of violence recounted by Cellini cannot be 
enumerated; and not alone those in which he was con- 
cerned, but others surrounding him. A bishop, to whom he 
refused to deliver a certain silver vase, ordered his retainers 
to sack his house; Cellini seizes his arquebuss and 
barricades his doors. Another jeweller named Piloto is 
the chief of a certain company, ' During his sojourn in 
Rome, Rosso had spoken disparagingly of the works of 
Raphael, and the pupils of this illustrious master deter- 


mined to kill him/ Vasari, sleeping with an apprentice 
named Manno, ' scratched the skin off of one of his legs, 
thinking he was scratching himself, for he never trimmed 
his nails/ and ' Manno determined to kill him.' Cellini's 
brother, on hearing that his pupil Bertino AldobrarJi had 
just been slain, c uttered so great a cry of rage that one 
could have heard him ten miles off; he then said to 
Giovanni, " Thou canst at least inform me who slew him ? n 
Giovanni replied, S€ Yes ; that it was the man who wore a 
large two-handed sword, and with a blue plume in his 
cap." My poor brother advanced, and having recognised 
the murderer by this sign, sprung with his usual alacrity 
and bravery into the midst of the guard, and there, before 
they could arrest him, he kicked the man in the belly and in 
various other parts, and levelled him to the ground with 
his sword haft.' He is himself almost immediately knocked 
down by a blow with an arquebuss, and then we see 
the vendetta fury fully display itself. Cellini can no longer 
eat or sleep ; the tempest within rages so violently that 
he thinks he will die if he finds no relief. c I resolved one 
evening to rid myself from this torment, without consider- 
ing how little there was to approve of in the effort. . . • 
I approached the murderer cautiously with a large 
poignard, similar to a hunting-knife. I was hoping to 
cleave his head with a back-handed stroke, but he turned 
so quickly, that my weapon only fell on the point of the 
kft shoulder and broke the bone. He arose, dropped his 
sword, and, suffering with pain, took to his heels. I pur- 
sued him, and overtaking him in a few paces raised my 
poignard o^er his head, which he held low, so that my 
weapon on entering at the nape of the neck buried itself 
daej iy, and in spite of all my efforts I could not withdraw 
it.' A little while after this, and, ever on a public 
thoroughfare, Cellini kills Benedetto, and next Pompeio, 
who had offended him. Cardinal Medicis and Cardinal 

176 KOME. 

Cornaro think it a fine thing. * As for the Pope/ says 
Cellini, after one of these murders, ' he regarded mo with 
a threatening aspect which made me tremble, but, as soon 
as he had examined my work, his countenance began to 
brighten.' And at another time, when Cellini was accused 
before him, ' Know,' said the Pope, ' that men high in 
their profession like Benvenuto are not amenable to the 
laws, and he, the least of all, because I know how right 
he is.' Such was public morality. All this lying in 
ambush, meanwhile, was prompted by the most insignifi- 
cant motives. His friend Luigi had taken a mistress, a 
courtesan, to whom he, Cellini, was indifferent, but whom 
he had entreated him not to take. In a furious mood he 
placed himself in ambush, fell upon them both with hia 
sword, wounded them, does not consider them sufficiently 
punished, and speaks of their death afterwards, which was 
not long delayed, with satisfaction. As far as private 
morality is concerned, Cellini has mystic visions while in 
prison ; his guardian angel appears to him ; he con- 
verses with an invisible spirit he has devotional transports, 
the effect of solitude and confinement on natures like his. 
When at liberty, he is a good Christian after the fashion 
of the day. Having made a successful cast of his ' Per- 
seus,' he set out, he says, ( singing psalms and hymns to 
the glory of God, which I continued to do during the whole 
journey.' We find similar sentiments in the Duke of 
Ferrara ; c Having been attacked with a grave malady 
which, during forty-eight hours, prevented a discharge of 
urine, he betook himself to God and ordered the payment 
of all neglected obligations.' One of his predecessors 
Hercules d'Este, possesses a similar conscience. At the 
end of an orgie, he proceeds to chant the service with his 
troop of French musicians, a man who cut oif the hands 
and plucked out the eyes of two hundred and eighty 
prisoner? before selling them, and who on Holy Thursday 


performed the ceremony of washing the feet of the poor. 
Such likewise is the piety of Alexander VI., who on 
hearing of the assassination of his son, the Duke oi 
Gandie, beats his breast, and, sobbing, confesses his crimes 
to the assembled cardinals. The imagination in those 
days is affected through one or the other of the senses, 
sometimes with voluptu asness, sometimes with rage and 
sometimes with fear. From time to time thoughts of the 
horrors of hell make people shudder, and they fancy they 
may balance accounts with wax tapers, crossing themselves, 
and paternosters ; but, fundamentally, they are pagans, 
genuine barbarians, and the only voice they listen to is 
that of the turbulent flesh, quivering nerves, restless 
members and overcharged brains buzzing with a confusion 
of forms and colours. 

One need not look for much delicacy, I fancy, in their 
way of doing things. Cardinal Hippolyte d'Este, who put 
out his brother's eyes receives an envoy of the Pope, the 
bearer of an offensive brief, with a thrashing. We know 
how Pope Julius II., in a quarrel with Michael Angelo, 
caned a bishop for attempting to interfere. Cellini is 
honoured with an audience by Pope Paul III. c He was,' 
Bays Cellini, ' in the best possible humour, and so much the 
better for the reason that all this occurred on the day he 
was accustomed to indulge in a hearty debauch,af ter which 
he vomited.' It is impossible to follow the narration by 
Bui chard,his master of ceremonies,of th e fetes given at the 
Vatican in the presence of Alexander VI., Caesar Borgia, 
and the Duchess Lucre tia ; nor even of a certain little im- 
promptu amusement which these personages witnessed 
from a window, ' with great laughter and satisfaction.' A 
vivandiere would blush at it. People as yet are not very 
polished. Crudity frightens nobody. Poets, like Berni, 
and story-tellers, like the bishop Bandello, enter upon the 
most hazardous subjects and treat them with the most 


178 BOME. 

precise details. What we call good taste is a product of 
the salon, and is only born into the world under Louis 
XIV. What we call ecclesiastical decency is a counter- 
stroke of the Reformation, and only established in the 
times of St. Charles Borromeo. Physical instincts still 
expose their nudity in the strongest light ; neither social re- 
finements nor a sense of propriety have yet arisen to temper 
or disguise the undiminished vigour of the raging senses. 
f Sometimes, it happened/ says Cellini, * on penetrating 
unawares into the private apartments of the Duchess, 1 
surprised her, engaged in an occupation by no means 
royal. . . . She then flew into such a rage that I was 
terrified.' One day, at the Duke's table, he gets into a 
quarrel with the sculptor Bandinelli, who grossly insults 
him. By a miracle he restrains himself, but in a moment 
after he says to him, ' I tell you plainly, that if you do 
not send the marble to me at my house, you may seek 
your place in another world, for, cost what it will, I will 
rip up your belly in this.' Coarse terms fly about, as in 
Rabelais, also tavern obscenities, while the disgusting 
humour of drunkards displays itself even in the palace. 
f What a hog I am, I exclaimed, what a fool ! what a 
jackass ! Does all your skill make no more noise in the 
world than this ? At the same time I jumped on a stick/ 
Cellini appends four lines of poetry to this adventure, and 
1 the Duke and Duchess both laughed.' Nowadays, the 
valets of any respectable mansion would put such odd 
characters outside the door. But when a man uses his 
fists like a butcher, or his sword like a bravo, it is natural 
for him to possess the humour of both butcher and 

* Cellini relates the manner in which he behaved in a quarrel with one 
of his mistresses. ■ I seized her by the hair and dragged her about the 
room, kicking and pounding her until I became weary and was obliged t* 


Diversions of a particular species are likewise natural 
to them. What a man of the people prefers, that is to say, 
a man accustomed to corporeal exercise, and whose senses 
are rude, is an order of entertainment addressed to the 
eye, and especially one in which he is himself an actor. 
He is fond of parades, and gladly participates in them; he 
leaves niceties of observation, conversation, and criticism 
to the effeminate and the refined, who frequent drawing- 
rooms. He likes to look at acrobats, clowns, and rope- 
dancers, men who grimace and exhibit themselves in pan- 
tomimes and processions, also reviews of troops, long caval- 
cades defiling, and variegated brilliant uniforms. Now 
that the people of Paris frequent the theatres, it is by 
such means that the popular theatres attract them. In 
this frame of mind a man is caught through his eyes. 
What he desires to see is not a noble intellect but a 
handsomely dressed muscular figure erect in a saddle, and 
when instead of one there are hundreds, when embroidery, 
gold lace, feathers, silk, and brocade glitter in broad sun- 
light amidst rattling drums and trumpets, when the triumph 
and tumult of the fete penetrate to his senses through every 
channel, and his whole being is aroused with involuntary 
sympathy, then, if a wish still remains, it is to mount a 
horse himself, and, in similar costume, form one of the gay 
throng parading before the attendant multitude. Such, 
at this time, is the reigning taste in Italy ; princely caval- 
cades, magnificent public festivals, entries into cities, and 
masquerades. Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan, pays a visit 
to Lorenzo de' Medici, and takes with him, besides a body- 
guard of five hundred foot, a hundred men-at-arms, fifty 
servants dressed in silk and silver, two thousand gentle- 
men and domestics of his suite, five hundred braces of 
dogs and an infinite number of falcons, and his jour- 
ney cost him two hundred thousand gold ducats. On 
the other hand, the city honours him with three public 



spectacles . one an € Annunciation of the Virgin/ another, 
the c Ascension of Christ/ and the last, the c Descent of 
the Holy Ghost.' — Cardinal San-Sisto expends twenty 
thousand ducats on a single fete in honour of the Duchess 
of Ferrara, and afterwards makes the tour of Italy with 
such a numerous and magnificent cortege, that only the 
pomp of his brother the Pope could equal it. — The 
Duchess Lucretia Borgia enters Rome with two hundred 
ladies, all on horseback, each magnificently dressed, and 
accompanied with a cavalier. — At Florence, a grand 
mythological fete is gotten up, called e The Triumph of 
Camilla,' with innumerable chariots, banners, escutcheons, 
and triumphal arches. Lorenzo de' Medici, in order to 
augment the interest of the spectacle, requests the Pope 
to send him an elephant; the Pope simply sends two 
leopards and a panther; he would himself like to be 
present, but the dignity of his position restrains him; 
a number of cardinals more fortunate arrive and enjoy 
the fete. A painter, Piero di Cosimo, with his friends, 
arrange another of a highly lugubrious order, called 
% The Triumph of Death.' This is a car drawn by black 
oxen, on which are painted skulls, bones, and crosses, in 
white, and on the car itself a figure of Death with his 
scythe, the car containing sepulchres, from which arise 
skeleton figures who chant funereal hymns when it halts. 
Among fifty fetes similar to this, read in Vasari the de- 
scription of that which signalises the commencement of 
the century ; one may judge by its brilliancy, as well as 
by its details, of the picturesque tastes which then filled 
all breasts. The object of this was to celebrate the advent 
of Pope Leo X. Lorenzo de' Medici, desiring that the 
Bronconi confraternity, of which he was the chief, should 
surpass in magnificence that of the Diamond, ordered 
Jacopo Nardi, € a noble, intelligent man,' to compose for 
him six cars. Pontormo painted them, and Baccio Ban- 


d&/ftlli decorated them with sculpture. All the wealth 
and all the art of the city were displayed upon them , 
every invention and every resource of luxury and of recent 
discovery, every image and souvenir of the history of an* 
cient poetry contributed to their embellishment. Chargers, 
caparisoned with the skins of lions and tigers, with hous- 
ings and stirrups of gold and bridles fringed with silver, 
advanced in long procession ; behind them followed heifers 
and mules superbly decked, and monstrous fantastic 
buffaloes disguised as elephants, and horses travestied as 
winged griffins. Shepherds in sable and ermine skins and 
crowned with garlands, priests in antique togas bearing 
candelabra and vases of gold, senators, lictors, and knights 
in gay armour, displaying their fasces and trophies, and 
jurisconsults, in long robes on horseback, all surrounded 
the cars, on which eminent Roman personages appeared 
amid the insignia of their offices and the monuments of their 
exploits. Through their proud nudity, valiant attitudes, 
and grand flowing drapery, these painted and sculptured 
forms heightened the pagan effect of this pagan proces- 
sion, and taught energy and joyousness to living com- 
panions, who to the clang of trumpets and the accla- 
mations of the crowd displayed themselves on the horses 
and cars around them. The generous sun, shining over- 
head, again illuminated a world similar to that of former 
days in the same place, that is to say, the same deep 
sentiment of natural poetic joyousness, the same bloom- 
ing physical health and energy, the same eternal youth- 
ful inspiration, and the same triumphant reverential devo- 
tion to beauty. And when the spectators, after witness- 
ing this long and rich array of splendid accoutrements, 
these rustling, flowing draperies, the bright glitter of silver 
scarfs, the yellow reflections of golden garlands and ara- 
besques, saw the last car approaching with its pyramid 
of living figures, and above these, by the side of a ver- 

182 ROME. 

dant laurel, a naked infant, personifying the Renaissance 
of the golden age, well might they believe that they had 
for a moment reanimated the noble lost antiquity, and, 
after a winter of fifteen centuries were again beholding 
the human plant flowering in all its grandeur. 

These are the spectacles then daily witnessed in an 
Italian city • such the luxurious taste of princes, cities, 
and corporations. The humblest artizan devoted his 
eyes, his hands, and his heart to them. Admiration of 
fine forms, imposing ceremony, and picturesque decoration 
constituted a popular sentiment. The carpenter at evening 
talked to his wife about them, and they were discussed 
around the tables of taverns, each one claiming that the 
decorations on which he had laboured were the most 
beautiful ; each one with his own preferences, judgment, 
and favourite artist as nowadays, the pupils of a painter's 
Btudio. The result was that the painter and the sculptor 
addressed not merely a few critics but the entire com- 
munity. What now remains to us of ancient poetic 
pomp ? The ' Descent of La Courtille,' * with its foul 
yelling drunkards, and the procession of fat oxen in which 
half-a-dozen poor fellows shiver in flesh-coloured ' tights,' 
amid the jokes and jeers of the populace. Picturesque cus- 
toms are now reduced to two street parades, and athletic life 
to wrestling at fairs, where some Herculean clown gets ten 
cents an hour to turn himself inside out for the amusement 
of soldiers and peasants. These customs constitute the 
vivifying influences which everywhere gave birth to and 
developed high art. They have disappeared, and hence 
our inability to produce the same results. The best a 
painter can now do is to shut himself up in his studio, 
and, surrounding himself with antique vases, nourishing 
himself on archaeology, living amidst the purest models of 
Greek and Renaissance life and sequestrating himself from 

* A •fete in Paris of a low popular character. 


all modern ideas, by dint of study and artifice, create foi 
himself a similar atmosphere. We are familiar with pro- 
digies of this stamp, such as an Overbeck, who, through 
prayer, fasting, and a monastic life at Rome, imagines he 
has revived the mystical forms of Fra Angelico ; a Gothe 
who, converted into a pagan, and having copied antique 
torsos and provided himself with every resource which 
erudition, philosophy, observation, and genius could accu- 
mulate, succeeds through the pliancy and universality of 
the most cultivated imagination that ever existed in 
mounting on a German pedestal an almost Grecian 
Iphigenia. With a skilfully-constructed hot-house, and 
well-contrived heaters, a man may raise and ripen oranges 
even in Normandy ; but the hot-house costs an immense 
sum, and out of ten oranges produced nine will prove acid 
abortions, — and, if you offer the tenth to a Normandy 
peasant, he will at heart much prefer his cider and 

We must admit that a singular combination of things 
existed in those days ; we have no experiepce of the same 
commingling of coarseness and culture, of a swords- 
man's habits with the tastes of the antiquary, of the 
customs of bandits with the conversations of a man of 
letters. Man then is in a transitional state ; he is issuing 
from the mediaeval to take his place in the modern epoch, 
or, rather, the two ages are at their confluence, each pene 
trating the other in the most wonderful manner and with 
most surprising contrasts. As government centralisation 
and monarchical loyalty could not be established in Italy, 
the middle ages, through private feuds and appeals to 
force, lasted there longer than elsewhere. In Italy, 
the race being precocious, the crust of the Germanic in- 
vasion could only partially cover it ; the modern spirit 
developed itself earlier there than elsewhere through the 
acquisition of wealth, a fertile creative power, and the free* 

164 HOME. 

dom of the intellect. They are farther advanced, and at 
the same time more backward than other peoples ; more 
backward in the sentiment of justice, more advanced in 
the sentiment of beauty, and their taste conforms to 
their condition. Always will a society place before itself 
in its spectacles the objects in which it is most interested. 
Always has society some representative figure which it 
reproduces and contemplates in its art. At the present 
day this figure is the ambitious plebeian who covets the 
pleasures of Paris, who desires to descend from his plain 
room in the attic to a luxurious apartment on the first 
floor ; in short, the parvenu, the labourer,* the intriguer, 
the business man on 'Change, or in his cabinet, such as the 
romances of Balzac portray. In the seventeenth century 
it was the courtier, versed in good breeding and a recusant 
in all domestic matters, the fine talker, the most elegant, 
the most polished and adroit of men, such as Racine 
portrays, and as the romances of Mdlle. de Scudery at- 
tempt to show him. In the sixteenth century in Italy he 
is the sound healthy man, well-proportioned and richly 
clothed, energetic and capable, such as its painters 
represent him in their beautiful attitudes. The Duke 
d'Urbino, and Caesar Borgia, and Alphonso d'Este, and 
Leo X., undoubtedly listened to poets and men of thought, 
but only at an evening entertainment, while diverting 
themselves after supper in some villa, surrounded by 
colonnades and under richly decorated ceilings. Sub- 
stantially, however, they delight in that which ministers to 
the eye and the body, such as masquerades, cavalcades, 
grand architectural forms, the imposing air of statues and 
of painted figures, and the superb decoration every- 
where around them. Any other diversion would be 
insipid to them. They are not critics, philosophers, and 
frequenters of the drawing-room ; they require something 
palpable and tangible. If you doubt this, look at theii 


amusements, those of Paul II., who ordered races before 
him of horses, asses, cattle, children, old men and Jews 
f crammed ' beforehand, to render them as stupid as 
possible, and ' who laughed to split his sides ; ' those 
of Alexander VI., which cannot be described, and of 
Leo X., who, booted and spurred, passed the season in 
hunting stags and wild boars, who kept a monk capable of 
* swallowing a pigeon at one mouthful, and forty eggs in 
succession,' who was served at table with dishes in the 
shape of monkeys and crows, in order to enjoy the sur- 
prise of his guests, who surrounded himself with buffoons, 
who had c La Calandra ' and ' La Mandragora ' performed 
in his presence, and who delighted in obscene stories and 
who supported parasites. The natural finesse of such 
minds employed itself on the subtleties, not of senti- 
ments or of ideas, but of colours and forms, and, to 
satisfy them, a world of artists is seen to form itself around 
them, chief amongat which is Michael Angelo. 



There are four men in the world of art and of literature 
exalted above all others, and to such a degree as to seem 
to belong to another race, namely, Dante, Shakespeare, 
Beetboyen, and Michael Angelo. No profound know- 
ledge, no full possession of all the resources of art, no 
fertility of imagination, no originality of intellect, sufficed 
to secure them this position, for these they all had ; these, 
moreover, are of secondary importance ; that which ele- 
vated them to this rank is their soul, the soul of a fallen 
deity, struggling irresistibly after a world disproportionate 
to our own, always suffering and combating, always toiling 
and tempestuous, and, as incapable of being sated as of 
sinking, devoting itself in solitude to erecting before 
men colossi as ungovernable, as vigorous, and as sadly 
sublime as its own insatiable and impotent desire. 

Michael Angelo is thus a modern spirit, and it is for 
this reason, perhaps, that we are able to comprehend him 
without effort. Was he more unfortunate than other 
men? Regarding things externally, it seems that he was 
not. If he was tormented by an avaricious family, if on 
two or three occasions the caprice or the death of a patron 
prevented the execution of an important work, designed 
or commenced, if his country fell into servitude, if 
minds around him degenerated or became weak, all these 
&re not unusual disappointments, or serious and painful 


obstacles. How many among his contemporary artists 
experienced greater ? Suffering, however, must be mea- 
sured by inward emotion, and not by outward circumstance, 
and, if ever a spirit existed capable of transports of enthu- 
siasm and tremors of indignation, it was his. He was 
sensitive to excess, and therefore € timid,' lonely, and ill 
at ease in the petty concerns of society, and to such an 
extent, for example, that he could never bring himself to 
entertain at a dinner. Men of deep, enduring emotion, 
maintain reserve in order not to render themselves a spec- 
tacle, falling back upon introspection for lack of outward 
sympathy. From his youth up, society was distasteful to 
him ; he had so applied himself to study in solitude, as to 
be considered proud and insane. Later, at the acme of 
his fame, he plunged still deeper into it ; he took solitary 
walks, was served by one domestic, and passed entire 
weeks on scaffoldings wholly absorbed in self-communion. 
And this because he could hold converse with no other 
mind. Not only were his sentiments too powerful, but 
again they were too exalted. From his earliest years he 
cherished a passionate love for all noble things, and first 
for his art, to which he gave himself up entirely, notwith- 
standing his father's brutality, investigating all its acces- 
sories with compass and scalpel in hand, and with such 
extraordinary persistence that he became ill ; and next, his 
self-respect, which he maintained at the risk of his life, 
ftcing imperious popes even to forcing them to regard 
him as an equal, braving them 'more than a King of 
France would have done.' He held ordinary pleasures 
in contempt ; f although rich, he lived as a poor man ; ' 
frugally, often dining on a crust of bread; and laboriously, 
treating himself severely, sleeping but little, and often 
in his clothes, without luxury of any kind, without 
household display, without care for money, giving away 
Statues and pictures to his friends, 20,^00 francs to his sei> 

168 ROME. 

vant, 30,000 and 40,000 francs at once to his nephew, be* 
sides countless other sums to the rest of his family. A nd 
more than this ; he lived like a monk, without wife or mis- 
tress, chaste in a voluptuous court, knowing but one love 
and that austere and platonic, and for one woman as proud 
and as noble as himself. At evening, after the labour of 
the day, he wrote sonnets in her praise and knelt in spirit 
before her, as Dante at the feet of Beatrice, praying to 
her to sustain his weaknesses and keep him in the f right 
path.' He bowed his soul before her as before an angel 
of virtue, showing the same fervid exaltation in her service 
as that of the mystics and knights of old. He felt in her 
beauty a revelation of divine essence ; he beheld her c still 
enveloped in her fleshly covering ascending radiant to the 
bosom of God.' ' He who has an affection for her,' he 
said, exalts himself to heaven by faith, and death becomes 
sweet.' Through her he attained to supreme love; in the 
prime source of all things he first formed his affection for 
her, and led by her eyes he would return thence with her.* 
She died before him, and for a long time he remained 
s downstricken, as if deranged ; ' several years later, 
his heart still cherished a great grief, the regret at not 
having on her deathbed kissed her brow or cheek instead 
of her hand. The rest of his life corresponds with sucb 
sentiments. He took great delight in the ( arguments oi 
learned men,' and also in the perusal of the poets, espe- 
cially Petrarch and Dante, whom he almost knew by 
heart. s Would to heaven,' he one day wrote, ' I were 
such as he, even at the price of such a fate ! For his 
bitter exile and his virtue I would exchange the most for- 
tunate lot in this world ! ' The books he preferred were 
those noted for an imprint of grandeur, the Old and New 
Testaments, and especially the terribly earnest discourses 

• These expressions are all taken from Michael Angelo's sonnets. 


of Savonarola, his master and friend, whom he saw attached 
to the pillory, strangled and burnt, and whose ' living 
word would always remain in his soul.' A man who feels 
and lives thus knows not how to accommodate himself to 
this life ; he is too different The admiration of othera 
produces no self-satisfaction. ' He disparaged his own 
works, never finding that his hand expressed the concep- 
tion formed within. One day, aged and decrepit, some 
one encountered him near the Colosseum on foot and in 
the snow; on being asked, ( Where are you going?' 
' To school,' he replied, ' to try and learn something.' 
Despair seized him more than once ; having hurt his leg. 
he shut himself up in his house and longed for death. 
Finally, he goes so far as to separate himself from himself, 
from that art which was his monarch and his idol ; ' pic- 
ture or statue, let nothing now divert my soul from 
that divine love on the cross, whose arms are always open 
to receive us ! ' The last sigh of a great soul in a dege- 
nerate age, and among an enslaved people ! Self-renun- 
ciation is his last refuge. For sixty years his works do 
no more than make visible the heroic combat which main- 
tained itself in his breast to the end. 

Superhuman personages as miserable as ourselves, 
forms of gods rigid with earthly passion, an Olympus ol 
jarring human tragedies, such is the sentiment of the 
ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. What injustice to compare 
with his works the ' Sibyls ' and the € Isaiah ' of Raphael 1 
They are vigorous and beautiful, I admit, and I do not 
dispute that they testify to an equally profound art ; but 
the first glance suffices to show that they have not the 
Bame soul : they do not issue like these from an imp© 
tuous, irresistible will ; they have never experienced like 
these the same thrill and tension of a nervous being, 
concentrated and launching itself forth at the risk ol 
ruin. There are souls whose impressions flash out Kkg 

190 ROME. 

lightning, and whose actions are thunderbolts. Such are 
the personages of Michael Angelo. His colossal Jere- 
miah, musing, with his enormous head resting on his 
enormous hand — on what does he muse with his downcast 
eyes? His floating beard descending in curls to his 
breast, his labourer's hands furrowed with swollen veins, 
his wrinkled brow, his impenetrable mask, the low mutter 
about to burst forth, all suggest one of those barbarian 
kings, a dark hunter of the urus, coming to dash his 
impotent rage against the gates of the Roman empire. 
Ezekiel turns around suddenly, with an impetuous inter- 
rogation on his lips, and so suddenly, that the air raises 
from his shoulder a portion of his mantle. The aged 
Persica, under the long folds of her falling hood, is in- 
defatigably reading from a book which her knotted 
hands hold up to her penetrating eyes. Jonas throws 
back his head, appalled at the frightful apparition before 
him, his fingers involuntarily counting the forty days that 
still remain to Nineveh. Lybia, in great agitation, des- 
cends, bearing the enormous book she has seized. Ery- 
thrzea is a Pallas of a haughtier and more warlike expres- 
sion than her antique Athenian sister. Around these, on 
the curve of the arch, appear nude adolescents straining 
their backs and displaying their limbs, sometimes proudly 
extended and reposing, and again struggling or darting 
forward, while some are shouting, and with their rigid 
thighs and grasping feet seem to be furiously attacking 
the wall. Beneath is an old stooping pilgrim seating 
himself, a woman kissing an infant wrapped in its swad- 
dling clothes, a despairing man looking obliquely and 
bitterly defying destiny, a young girl with a beautiful 
smiling face tranquilly sleeping ; and twenty others, the 
grandest of human forms, that speak in all the details 
of their attitudes, and in the least of the folds of their 


These are simply the contours of the arch. The arch 
itself, two hundred feet long, displays the historical record 
of the book of Genesis, the deliverance of Israel, the 
creation of the world, of man, and of woman, the fall and 
exile of the first couple, the deluge, the brazen serpent, 
the murder of Holophernes, the punishment of Haman— 
an entire population of figures of tragic interest. You 
lie down on the old carpet covering the floor and look up. 
In vain are they a hundred feet high, smoked, scaling off 
and crowded to suffocation, and so remote from the de- 
mands of our art, our age, and our intellect — you compre- 
hend them at once. This man is so great, that differences 
of time and of nation do not subsist in his presence. 

The difficulty is not in yielding to his sway, but in 
accounting for it. When, after your ears are filled with 
the thunder of his voice, and retiring to a distance, and 
in repose, so that only its reverberations reach you, 
and when reflection has succeeded to emotion, and you 
strive to discover the secret by which he renders its tones 
so vibrating, you at length arrive at this, — he possessed 
the soul of Dante, and he passed his life in the study 
of the human figure : these are the two sources of his 
power. The human form, as he represents it, is all ex- 
pression, its skeleton, muscles, drapery, attitudes and 
proportions ; so that the spectator is affected simultane- 
ously by all parts of the subject. And this form expresses 
energy, pride, audacity, and despair, the rage of un- 
governable passion or of heroic will, and in such a way 
as to move the spectator with the most powerful impres- 
ari ons. Moral energy emanates from every physical detail, 
and we feel its startling reaction corporeally and instan 

Look at Adam asleep near Eve, whom Jehovah has 
just taken from his side. Never was creature buried in 
auch profound, deathlike slumber. His enormous body ii 

192 ROME. 

completely relaxed, and its enormity only renders this the 
more striking. On awaking, those pendant arms, those 
inert thighs, will crush some lion in their embrace. In 
the ' Brazen Serpent' the man with a snake coiled round 
his waist, and tearing it off, with arm bent back and his 
body distorted as he extends his thigh, suggests the strife 
between primitive mortals and the monsters whose slimy 
forms ploughed the antediluvian soil. Masses of bodies, 
intermingled one with the other and overthrown with 
their heels in the air, with arms bent like bows and with 
convulsive spines, quiver in the toils of the serpents; 
hideous jaws crush skulls and fasten themselves on howl- 
ing lips ; with hair on end and their mouths open miserable 
beings tremble on the ground, wildly and furiously kicking 
in the midst of the heaps of humanity around them. A 
man, who thus handles the skeleton and muscles, puts rage, 
will, and terror into the fold of a thigh, the projection of 
a shoulder-blade, and the flexions of the vertebra ; in 
his hands the whole human animal is impassioned, active, 
and combatant. What contemptible mannikins in com- 
parison are the tame frescoes, the lifeless processions, 
allowed to remain beneath his! They subsist like the 
ancient marks on the quay of a river, by which one sees 
what torrents have arisen there and overflowed its banks. 
Alone, since the Greeks, he knew the full value of all 
the members. With him, as with them, the body lives by 
itself, and is not subordinated to the head. By dint of 
genius and solitary study, he rediscovered that sentiment 
of the nude with which their gymnastic life imbued them. 
Before his seated Eve, who turns half around with her 
foot bent under her thigh, you imagine involuntarily the 
spring of the leg which is to raise that noble form erect. 
Before his Eve and Adam expelled from Paradise nobody 
thinks of looking to the face to find grief; it is the entire 
torsos the active limbs, the human frame with the setting 


of its internal parts, the solidity of its Herculean supports, 
the friction and play of its moving joints, the ensemble, in 
short, which strikes you. The head enters into it only as 
a portion of the whole ; you stand motionless, absorbed in 
contemplating thighs that sustain such trunks and in- 
domitable arms that are to subject the hostile earth. 

Brit what to my taste surpass all, are the twenty 
youthful figures seated on the cornices at the four corners 
of each fresco, a veritable painted sculpture that gives one 
an idea of a superior and unknown world. These are all 
adolescent heroes of the time of Achilles and Ajax, as noble 
in race, but more ardent and of fiercer energy. Here are 
the grand nudities, the superb movements of the limbs, 
and the raging activity of Homer's conflicts, but with a 
more vigorous spirit and a more courageous, bold, and 
manly will. Nobody would suppose that the various atti- 
tudes of the human figure could affect the mind with such 
diverse emotions. The hips support, the breast respires, the 
entire covering of flesh strains and quivers ; the trunk is 
thrown back over the thighs, and the shoulder, ridged with 
muscles, is going to raise the impetuous arm. One of them 
falls backward and draws his grand drapery over his thigh, 
whilst another, with his arm over his brow, seems to be 
parrying a blow. Others sit pensive, and meditating, with 
all their limbs relaxed. Several are running and springing 
across the cornice, or throwing themselves back and shout- 
ing. Three among them, above the 'Ezekiel' the 'Persica* 
and the ' Jeremiah/ are incomparable ; and one especially, 
the noblest of all, as calm and intelligent as a god, gazes 
with his elbow resting on some fruit, and his hand resting on 
his knee. You feel that they are going to move and to act, 
and. that you would like to maintain them before you con- 
stantly in the same attitude. Nature has produced nothing 
like them ; thus ought she to have fashioned us ; here 
would she find all types : giants and heroes, alongside of 


194 HOME. 

modest virgins and youths and sporting children; thai 
charming Eve, so young and so proud; that beautiful 
Delphica, similar to a primitive nymph, who turns her eyes 
filled with innocent astonishment — all sons and daughters, 
of a colossal militant race, but to whom their century has 
preserved the smile, the serenity, the pure joyousness, the 
grace of the Oceanides of iEschylus, and of the Nausicaa 
of Homer. The soul of an artist contains within itself an 
entire world, and that of Michael Angelo is here un- 

He had given it expression, and he ought not to have re- 
produced it. His ' Last Judgment,' near by this, does not 
produce the same impression. The painter was then in 
his sixty-seventh year, and his inspiration was no longei 
as fresh. After having long brooded over his ideas he 
has a better hold of them, but they cease to excite him ; 
he has exhausted the original sensation, the only true one, 
and he exaggerates and copies himself. Here he intention- 
ally enlarges the body, and inflates the muscles; he is pro- 
digal of foreshortenings and violent postures, converting his 
personages into well-fed athletes and wrestlers engaged 
in displaying their strength. The angels who bear away 
the cross clutch each other, throw themselves backward, 
clench their fists, strain their thighs, and gather up their 
feet as in a gymnasium. The saints toss about with the 
insignia of their martyrdom, as if each sought to attract 
attention to his strength and agility. Souls in purgatory, 
saved by cowl and rosary, are extravagant models that 
might serve for a school of anatomy. The artist had just 
entered on that period of life when sentiment vanishes 
before science, when the mind especially delights in over- 
coming difficulties. As it is, however, this work is unique ; 
it is like a declamatory speech in the mouth of an old 
warrior, with a rattling drum accompaniment. Some of 
the figures and groups aie worthy of his grandest efforts. 


The powerful Eve, who maternally presses one of her 
horror-stricken daughters to her side ; the aged and for- 
midable Adam, an antediluvian Colossus, the root of the 
great tree of humanity ; the bestial carnivorous demons ; 
the figure among the damned that covers his face with his 
arm to avoid seeing the abyss into which he is plunging ; 
that in the coils of a serpent rigid with horror, as if a 
stone statue ; and especially that terrible Christ, like the 
Jupiter in Homer overthrowing the Trojans and their 
chariots on the plain ; also, by his side, almost concealed 
under his arm, that timorous, shrinking young virgin, so 
noble and so delicate, — all form a group of conceptions 
equal to those of the ceiling. These animate the whole 
design. We cease to feel the abuse of art, the aim at 
effect, the domination of mannerism; we only see the 
disciple of Dante, the friend of Savonarola, the recluse 
feeding himself on the menaces of the Old Testament, the 
patriot, the stoic, the lover of justice who bears in his 
heart the grief of his people and who attends the funeral of 
Italian liberty, one who, amidst degraded characters and 
degenerate minds, alone survives and daily becomes sadder, 
passing nine years at this immense work, his soul filled 
with thoughts of the supreme Judge and listening before* 
baud to the thuaders of the last day 







Nothing has interested me more in these Roman villaa 
than their former masters. As naturalists are aware, 
one obtains a pretty good idea of an animal from his 

The place where I began to comprehend him is the 
Villa Albani, erected in the eighteenth century for 
Cardinal Alexander Albani, and according to his own 
plans. What you at once detect here is the grand seigneur 
courtier, after the fashion of our nobles of the seventeenth 
century. There are differences, but the two tastes are 
kindred. What they prize above all things is art and 
artistic order ; nothing is left to nature ; all is artificial. 
Water flows only in jets and in spray, and has no othel 
bed but basins and urns. Grass-plots are enclosed withiii 
enormous box-hedges, higher than a man's head, and 
thick as walls, and are shaped in geometrical triangles, the 
points of which terminate in a centre. In front stretches a 
dense palisade lined with small cypresses. You ascend from 
one garden to another by broad stone steps, similar to 
those at Versailles, Flower-beds are er closed in little 


frames of box, and form designs resembling well-bordered 
carpets, regularly variegated with shades of colour. This 
villa is a fragment, the fossil skeleton of an organism that 
lived two hundred years, its chief pleasure being conver- 
sation, fine display, and the manners of the salon and 
ante-ohamber. Man was not then interested in inanimate 
objects ; he did not recognise in them a spirit and beauty 
of their own ; he regarded them simply as an appendix to 
his own existence ; they served as a background to the 
picture, and a vague one, of less than accessory im- 
portance. His attention was wholly absorbed by the 
picture itself, that is to say, by its human drama and in- 
trigue. In order to divert some portion of attention to 
trees, water, and landscape, it was necessary to humanise 
them, to deprive them of their natural forms and ten- 
dencies, of their savage aspect, of a disorderly desert air, 
and to endow them as much as possible with the air of a 
salon, or a colonnade gallery, or a grand palatial court. 
The landscapes of Poussin and Claude Lorraine all bear 
this imprint. They are architectural constructions — the 
scenery is painted for courtiers who wished to reinstate 
the court on their own domain. It is curious, in this 
relation, to compare the island of Calypso in Homer with 
that of Fenelon. In Homer we have a veritable island, 
wild and rocky, w T here sea-birds build their nests and 
screech ; in Fenelon a sort of Marly, € arranged to please 
the eye.' Thus do the English gardens as now imported 
by us indicate the advent of another race, the reign of 
another taste and literature, the ascendency of another 
mind, more comprehensive, more solitary, more easily 
fatigued, and more devoted to the world within. 

A second remark is this, that our grand seigneur is an 
antiquary. Besides two galleries, and a circular portico 
filled with antique statues, there are pieces of sculpture of 
everv description scattered about the gardens : caryatides, 


torsos, colossal busts, gods, columns topped with busts^ 
urns, lions, huge vases, pedestals, and other innumer- 
able remains, often broken or mutilated. In order to 
turn everything to account, a wall is frequently encrusted 
with quantities of shapeless fragments. Some of these 
sculptures, such as a caryatides, a mask of Antinous, and 
certain statues of emperors are fine ; but the greater part 
forms a singular collection. Many of them belonged, 
evidently, to small municipalities and private dwellings; 
they are workshop stock, already familiar to the ancients, 
and the same as would subsist with us, if after a long 
period of inhumation our stairway statues and hotel de 
ville busts should be discovered ; they may be regarded 
as museum documents rather than as works of art. No 
house is thus decorated except through pedantry ; bric-a- 
brac forms the taste of an old man, and is the last that sub- 
sisted in Italy. Literature being dead, there still existed 
dissertations on vases and coins ; among gallant sonnets 
and academical phrases, when all intellectual effort was in- 
terdicted or paralysed in the grand void of the last century, 
the taste of former days and the curiosity of archaeologists 
were still preserved, as in the times of Politian and 
Lorenzo de' Medici. This sort of employment diverts minds 
from serious questions ; an absolute prince or a cardinal 
may well favour it, and thus occupy his leisure hours ; he 
may assume the air of a connoisseur, or of a Macaenas and 
merit dedicatory epistles, mythological frontispieces, and 
Latin and Italian superlatives. 

A third point, no less visible, is this : our seigneur anti- 
quary is Italian, a man of the south. This architecture ia 
adapted to the climate. Many of our structures imitated 
during our classic centuries, and absurd under our skies, are 
reasonable here, and accordingly beautiful. First is the 
grand portico with open arcades ; windows are unneces- 
sary, and it is even better to be without them; it is a 


promenade, and especially one in which to enjoy fresh 
breezes. It is proper, too, to have everything of marble , in 
the north we would feel cold through the imagination 
alone; we would involuntarily recur to curtains, rings, 
heaters, carpets, the entire apparatus indispensable to 
physical comfort. A duke, on the contrary, or a prelate 
in his purple robe, in state, and surrounded by his 
gentlemen, is just where he should be to discuss political 
affairs or to listen to the reading of sonnets. From 
time to time, on his majestic promenade, he may bestow a 
glance on statues and emperors' busts, and descant on 
them as a Jatinist and politician, earnestly interested in 
their lives and images, through a sort of relationship 
belonging to the right of succession. He is again well 
placed here to receive artists, patronise debutants, and to 
order and examine architectural plans. If he enters an 
avenue, it is so wide and smooth, that his robe is not 
likely to be caught, besides furnishing plenty of space for 
his train of attendants. The garden and buildings are 
admirable for an out-of-door levee. 

The prospects and landscape vistas obtained at the 
ends of the galleries, thus framed in by columns, are of 
the same taste. The superb ilex rises above a terrace, 
with its monstrous pilasters and evergreen dome of monu- 
mental foliage. Avenues of sycamores diverge in rows 
shaped like porticoes. Lofty solemn cypresses clasp their 
knotty branches against their grey trunks and rise in 
the air gravely and monotonously like pyramids. The 
aloe stretches itself against a white wall, its strange trunk 
scaled and tortuous like a serpent writhing in convulsions, 
Bey end, outside the garden, on a neighbouring hill-side,, 
a confused mass of structures and pines elevate them- 
selves, rising and falling according to the surface of the 
ground. On the horizon runs the sharp bioken line 
of the mountains, one of which, blue like a heavy rain 


cloud, rises triangularly and shuts off a portion of the sky 
From this the eye reverts back to the series of arcades 
forming the circular portico, to the balustrades and 
statues diveisifying the crest of the roof, to columns 
scattered here and there, and to the squares and circles of 
the hedges and fish-pools. Surrounded by this mountain 
frame the landscape is precisely like that of Perelle, 
and it corresponds with an intellectual state of things, 
of which a modern man, and especially a northern man, 
has no idea. People nowadays are more delicate, less 
capable of relishing painting, and more capable of relish- 
ing music ; men in those days had coarser nerves, and 
senses more alive to external objects ; they did not feel 
the spirit of outward objects, but readily appreciated 
their forms. A well-selected and well-arranged land- 
scape pleased them the same as a lofty and spacious apart- 
ment, solidly constructed, and handsomely decorated ; this 
sufficed for them ; they never held a conversation with a 

On the first story, and from the large marble balcony, 
the mountain in front seems like an edifice, a veritable 
piece of architecture. Below, you see ladies and visitors 
promenading the compartments of the alleys ; give them 
brocade silk skirts, velvet coats, lace frills, and a nobler 
and easier deportment, and you would behold a court as it 
defiled before and lived indolently under the eye, and at 
the expense of a grand seignor. He needed it in order to 
impress others with his importance, also to protect him- 
Belf from enemies ; only in these days has man learned 
to live by himself, or alone with his family. The 
grand saloon, likewise, wainscotted and decorated with 
marble, adorned with columns, bas-reliefs, great vases, and 
gilded and painted in fresco, is the most beautifully 
arranged place for a reception. One can recompose 
without much effort of the imagination the ertire scene 


with all its personages. Here and there, awaiting the 
master, are amateurs and abbes discussing and examining 
the merits of pictures. Their eyes look upward at the 
' Parnassus ' of Mengs ; they compare it with that of 
Raphael and thus furnish evidences of culture and good 
taste ; they avoid dangerous converse and may depart 
without being compromised. Alongside, in small saloons, 
are others contemplating a superb bas-relief of Antincus 
— that breast so vigorous, those manly lips, that air of 
the valiant wrestler ; and, farther on, an admirable pale 
Cardinal by Domenichino, and the two little bacchanals, 
so animated, by Giulio Romano. People still comprehend 
these; traditions are still maintained; new intellectual 
views—a rhetorical, philosophical culture — have not yet 
effaced, as in France, the manners, customs, and ideas 
of the sixteenth century ; assassinations are still common, 
and the streets in the evening are by no means safe. 
Whilst, in France, the boudoir painters reign, Mengs is 
here imitating the Renaissance, and Winckelmann is 
reviving the antique. They appreciate their works and 
those of the great masters ; patient attendance in ante- 
chambers, the emptiness of prudent conversation, the 
dangers of unreserved gaiety and a mutual distrust 
have augmented sensibility while hindering its expan- 
sion. There is still a place in man for strong impressions. 

How remote these habits and sentiments from our 
own ! How refined culture, widely diffused wealth, and 
an effective police have laboured amongst us to leave of 
man no master intellect but that of the Bohemian, the 
nervous ambitious being of Musset and of Heine ! 

I prolonged my walk two miles beyond this. There 
are quantities of grand villas decked with ridiculous 
ruins expressly manufactured for them, and many duly 
modernised; opposite styles contend with each other; 
it is not worth one's trouble to enter these villas. 


Other structures, more commonplace, afford glimpses oi 
groves of palms, and of the cactus and white rushes scat- 
tered about among flowing fountains — nothing can be more 
graceful and original. The poorest inns contain in their 
courts large spreading trees, or thick trellises overhead 
forming roofs of verdure. You drink bad wine, yellow 
and sweet, but your eyes dwell on landscapes of delicate 
tints, bordered with the long blue mountains, budding ver- 
dure, white almond trees, elegant outlines of brown and 
grey foliage, and a sky flecked with soft vapoury clouds. 

Villa Borghese. — I have not much to say to you of the 
other villas : they suggest similar ideas ; the same way of 
living produced the same tastes. Some of them are grander, 
more rural, and on a larger scale, and among them is the 
Villa Borghese. You reach it through the Piazzo del 
Popolo. This square, with its churches, obelisks, and 
fountains, and the monumental steps of the Pincio, is both 
peculiar and beautiful. 

I am always mentally comparing these monuments 
with those of Paris, to which I am accustomed. You 
find here less space and stonework, less material 
grandeur than in the Place de la Concorde and in the 
Arc de Triomphe : but more invention, and more t* 
interest you. 

The Villa Borghese is a vast park four miles in cir- 
cumference, with buildings of all kinds scattered over it 
At the entrance is an Egyptian portico, in the poorest 
po^riile taste — some modern importation. The interior 
is more harmonious, and quite classical. Here is a little 
temple, there a peristyle, further on a ruined colonnade, a 
portico, balustrades, large round vases, and a sort of amphi- 
theatre. The undulating surface rises and falls in beauti- 
ful meadows, red with the delicate trembling anemone. 
Italian pines, purposely separated, display their elegant 
forms and stately heads in profile against the white sky ; 


fountains murmur at every turn of the avenues, and in 
email valleys grand old oaks, still naked, send up thei* 
valiant, heroic, antique forms. I was born and nurtured 
in the north ; you can imagine how the sight of these trees 
dissipated all the beauties of Rome ; how its churches and 
structures vanished before these gnarled old trunks, 
the mighty combatants of my cherished forests, now 
reviving under the moist winds, and already putting 
forth their buds. They refresh one delightfully in this 
world of monuments and stone. All that is human is 
limited, and on this account wearies ; lines of buildings 
are always rigid ; a statue or picture is never aught but 
a spectre of the past ; the sole objects that afford unalloyed 
pleasure are nature's objects, forming and transforming, 
which live, and the substance of which is, so to say, fluid. 
You remain here entire afternoons contemplating the 
ilex, the vague, bluish tint of its verdure, its rich 
rotundity, as ample as that of the trees of England ; there 
is an aristocracy here as there; only can grand hereditary 
estates save beautiful useless trees from the axe. By 
the side of these rise the pines, erect like columns, bearing 
aloft their noble canopies in the tranquil azure ; the eye 
never wearies in following those round masses, com- 
mingling and receding in the distance, in watching the 
gentle tremor of their leaves and the graceful inclina- 
tion of so many noble heads, dispersed here and there 
through the transparent atmosphere. At intervals, a 
poplar, ruddy with blossoms, sends up its vacillating 
pyramid. The sun is slowly declining; gleams of ruddy 
light illumine the grey trunks, and the green slopes are 
sprinkled with blooming daisies. The sun sinks lower 
and lower, and the palace windows flash, and the heads of 
statues are lit up with mysterious flames, while from the 
distance one catches the faint music of Bellini's aim 
borne along at intervals by the swelling breeze. 



All these villas have their collections of antiques. That 
of the villa Ludovisi is one of the finest; a pavilion 
has been expressly erected to contain it. Since the days 
of Lorenzo de 5 Medici the possession of antiquities here 
has been a compulsory luxury, a complement of every 
great aristocratic life. Accordingly, on regarding things 
closely, you perceive throughout the history of modern 
Rome a souvenir, a continuation as it were of antique 
Rome ; the Pope is a sort of spiritual Csesar, and, in many 
points, the people who live beyond the Alps are always 
barbarians. We have been able only to renew the chain 
of tradition ; with them this chain has never been broken* 
I have notes on all this gallery; but I will not over- 
whelm you with notes 

There is a head of e Juno, Queen,' possessing a grandeur 
and seriousness altogether sublime. I do not believe 
that there is anything superior to it in Rome. 

I noticed a seated ( Mars,' with his hands crossed on his 
knees, and a nude ' Mercury.' But I cannot repeat what 
I have already written you on this sculpture ; what you 
feel for the twentieth time is the serenity of a beautiful, 
complete existence, well-balanced, in which the brain is not 
an oppressor of the rest of the body. In vain you admire 
Michael Angelo, and heartily give him your sympathy 
as to a mighty heroic tragedy ; you say to yourself re« 


peatedly tliat this wonderful calmness is more beautiful, 
because it is healthier. The torso of this Mercury scarcely 
ghows any modelling — you simply see the line of the 
pelvis ; instead of muscles in activity the sculptor has 
represented only the human form, and that suffices for the 

A modern group, by Bernini, called ' Pluto bearing off 
Proserpine,' affords a striking contrast. The head of 
Pluto is vulgarly gay ; his crown and beard give him a 
ridiculous air, while the muscles are strongly marked and 
the figure poses. It is not a true divinity, but a decorative 
god, like those at Versailles — a mythological figurant 
striving to catch the attention of connoisseurs and the king. 
Proserpine's body is very effeminate, very pretty, and very 
contorted ; but there is too much expression in the face ; 
its eyes, its tears, and its little mouth are too attractive. 

The weather was perfectly beautiful, the sky of a cloud- 
less blue, and the more charming that for the last eight 
days we had no rain and no mud ; but an effort was ne- 
cessary in order to see anything, so depressed was I by 
the death of our poor friend Woepke. 

The villa, however, is charming ; its fields, intact and 
refreshed by the rains, sparkled; the blooming laurel hedge, 
the oak forests and the avenues of old cypress trees cheered 
and revived one T s spirit with their grace and grandeur. 
This kind of landscape is unique ; you find the vegetation 
of all climates mingled and grouped together; on one 
Bide are knots of palms, and the grand feathery cane 
shooting up like a wax-taper from its nest of glittering 
leaves; beyond, a poplar and enormous grey naked chestnut 
trees, just beginning to blossom. And a still more peculiar 
sight is the old walls of Rome, a veritable natural ruin, that 
serves as an enclosure. Hot-houses are supported against 
red arcades ; lemon trees in pale rows hug the disjointed 
bricks, and in the vicinity fresh green grass is growing 


abundantly ; from time to time you detect from some 
elevation the outermost circle of the horizon and the blue 
mountains varied by snow. All this exists within Rome. 
Nobody comes here, and I do not even know if anyone 
lives here. Rome is a museum and a sepulchre where 
past forms of life subsist in silence. 

You reach the large central pavilion and enter a hall 
wainscotted with mosaics, where grand busts look gravely 
down on you from their lofty niches. The name of the 
founder of this villa, Cardinal Ludovisi, is inscribed over 
each door. Through the windows you perceive gardens 
and verdure. The ' Aurora ' of Guercino fills the ceiling 
and its curves. This is the vast naked dining-hall of a 
grand seigneur ; we have halls nowadays as brilliant and as 
convenient, but have we any as beautiful ? Aurora, on a 
chariot, quits old Tithonus half enveloped in drapery, which 
a Cupid raises, whilst another, nude and plump, seizes with 
infantile playfulness some flowers in a basket. She is a 
young vigorous woman, her vigour almost inclining to 
coarseness. Before her are three female figures on a cloud, 
all large and ample, and much more original and natural 
than those of the Aurora of Guido. Still farther in advance 
are three laughing young girls frolicking and extinguish- 
ing the stars. A ray of morning light half traverses their 
faces, and the contrast between the illuminated and 
shadowed portions is charming. Amid ruddy clouds and 
the morning mists that are disappearing, you perceive 
the deep blue of the sea. 

On one of the hollows of the arch is a seated female 
6gure, sleeping, clad in grey, and supporting her head with 
her hand ; near her is a naked infant couched on some 
white drapery, also asleep. This sleep is of admirable 
truthfulness ; the profound stupor characteristic of children 
in this state is strongly marked in the slight pout of the 
lips and in a light frown on the brow. Guercino did n^t 


like Guido, copy antiques ; he studied living models, like 
Caravaggio, always observing the details of actual life, the 
changes of impression from grave to gay, and all that is 
capricious in the passion and expression of the face, His 
figures are often heavy and short, but they live; the 
mingling of light with transparent shadows on the bodies 
of the two sleepers is the very poetry of sleep. 

The Palace. —These villas and gardens, and these pa- 
laces that fill the Corso, are the remains of Home's grand 
old aristocratic life. Neither Paris nor London possesses 
anything like them ; private parks in these cities have 
become public promenades ; a great family has retained 
only a mansion, or more frequently an ordinary house, with 
a small plot of ground around it, on which its master may 
take his walks, subject to the gaze of his neighbours. 
Whilst in northern lands equality was being established, 
the aristocracy were here strengthening themselves and 
renewing their existence through nepotism. For three 
centuries the popes employed the best part of the public 
revenues in the founding of families ; they were good 
relatives, and provided well for the children of the** 
brothers and sisters. Sixtus V. gave to one of his grand 
nephews a cardinal's hat and a hundred thousand crowns 
out of the ecclesiastical benefices. Clement VTII. in 
thirteen years, distributes among his nephews, the Aldo- 
brandini, and in ready cash only a million of crowns. 
Paul V. bestows on Cardinal Borghese one hu ndred and 
fifty thousand crowns of the Church income ; on Maro 
Antoine Borghese a principality, several palaces in Rome, 
the most beautiful in its vicinity ; and to others, diamonds, 
plate, carriages, and complete sets of furniture, amounting 
to a million of crowns in specie. With such profuse sup- 
plies the Borghese family purchased eighty estates, all on 
the Roman Campagna, besides others elsewhere. The truth 
'*, the Pope is simply an aged functionary, whose office i* 


but a life tenure, his family being obliged to make the most 
cf it in the shortest space of time. These prodigalities 
increase under every successive reign. Under Gregory 
XV., Cardinal Ludovisi receives two hundred thousand 
crowns of benefices ; his uncle, the Pope's father, is treated 
as handsomely. The pope founds luoghi di monte for 
eight hundred thousand crowns, which he gives to them. 
' The possessions of the Peretti, the Aldobrandini, the 
Borghese, and the Ludovisi,' says a contemporary, ( with 
their principalities, their enormous revenues, so many 
magnificent edifices, such superb furniture, decorations, 
and rare pleasure-grounds, surpass not only the state of 
nobles and princes not sovereign, but approach that of 
kings themselves.' Under Urban VIII. the Barberini 
receive to the amount of one hundred and five million 
crowns, and things go so far, that the Pope entertains 
scruples and appoints a commission to take the matter 
in hand. In short, in order to provide the means for these 
liberal endowments, it becomes necessary to borrow money, 
and the finances get to be in a dreadful plight ; at the end 
of the sixteenth century, the interest of the debt amounted 
to three quarters of the revenue, and six years later it ab- 
sorbed it entirely, excepting seventy thousand crowns ; a 
few years after this, certain branches of the revenue no 
longer sufficed to discharge the burdens imposed on them. 
The commission nevertheless declared that the Pope, as 
prince, might bestow his savings and all surplus income 
on whom he pleased. Nobody then considered a sovereign 
as a magistrate entrusted with the administration of the 
public funds; such an idea did not prevail in Europe until 
after the time of Locke, the state being regarded as pro- 
perty which anyone might either use or abuse. The com- 
mission declared that the Pope could conscientiously found 
a majorat for his family at eighty thousand crowns. 
When a little later Alexander VII. wished to heal thii 


sore, good strong arguments were advanced to him to 
prove that he was wrong. He had forbidden his nephews 
to come to Rome, a^id the rector of the Jesuits' College, 
Oliva, decided that he ought to summon them there 
1 under penalty of committing mortal sin.' It is interest- 
ing to see in contemporary narratives* how money flows 
and overflows, descending from pope to pope in new reser* 
voirs and in magnificent golden streams, their glittering 
waves sparkling with the precious effigies of sequins, 
crowns, and ducats. The reader sees, as in the vicinity of 
a vivifying water-course, the most beautiful aristocratic 
flowers spring up ; all that sumptuousness represented 
in pictures and in engravings, gentlemen in satin and 
velvet, gay lackeys, footmen, guards, and corpulent 
majordomos, officers of the kitchen, the table, and the 
stable ; a population of men-at-arms and noble domestics 
purposely selected for show and expense, forming a retinue 
for the master on his visits, adorning his antichamber at 
his receptions, mounting behind his carriage, lodging in 
his attics, eating in his kitchen, assisting at his bedside, 
and living in lordly style, with nothing to do but to make 
their embroidered coats last as long as possible and 
defend at all hazards the honour of their master's house. 

How support such a throng of people ? And note this, 
that they had to be supported ; they were necessary in 
order to ensure their patron proper respect. Rome was 
not a place of security ; ' On the death of Urban VIII.,' 
says one of his contemporaries, c society, during the con- 
clave, seemed to have disintegrated. There were so many 
armed people in the city, I do not remember ever to have 
Been so many. There is no wealthy house that does not 
provide itself with a garrison of soldiers. If all were 
massed together they would form a grand army. Violent 

* See Ranke's History of the Popes. 


acts, and all kind of license are committed with impu 
nity; men are slain in all quarters: the report the 
oftenest circulated is that this or that well-known person 
has just been killed.' As soon as the pope is elected, his 
predecessor's nephews have a busy time ; every effort is 
made to force them to disgorge their plunder, their enemies 
commencing trials at once, and often compelling them to 
fly. Amidst so much danger, a party of dependants and 
clients whose swords are always ready and faithful, 
becomes an imperative necessity. Rome had not then 
taken the step which separates the middle ages from 
modern times. Security and justice did not exist. She 
is not an organised state, and still less a soil of pa- 
triotic sentiment ; every one is obliged to protect him- 
self either by force or by stratagem ; every one enjoys 
privileges, that is to say, the power and the right in 
certain circumstances to set himself above the law. 
Even a hundred years later, De Brosses writes, ' whoever 
cares to disturb society may do so with impunity pro- 
vided he is known to a noble and is within reach of a 
place of refuge. Places of refuge abound 

everywhere, the churches, the enclosure of an ambassador's 
quarter, the house of a cardinal, to such an extent, that 
the poor devils of sbirri (these are archers) belonging to 
the police, are compelled to carry maps of the particular 
streets and places in Rome through which they may pass 
in pursuit of a malefactor.' 

A noble lives in his palace, like the feudal baron in hia 
castle. His windows are cross-barred and strongly 
bolted, so as to resist lever and axe ; the stones of his 
fa9ade are long, half the length of a man's body, so that 
neither bullet nor pick can affect their mass ; the walls of 
his gardens are thirty feet high, and the copings and 
corner stones are such that few would risk an attack on 
them. The park, again, is large enough to hold a small 


army ; two or three hundred men in slashed doublet* 
easily find room in the antichambers and galleries, and 
all can be lodged without difficulty under the roof. Aa 
to recruits, these are never wanting. As in the middle 
ages, the feeble, in order to exist, are forced to commend 
themselves to the strong. ' My lord,' says a poor man, 
* like my father and my grandfather, I am the servant of 
your family.' Also, as in the middle ages^ the strong, to 
sustain themselves, require to enlist a corps of the weak. 
€ There is a coat, and so many crowns a month, 5 says the 
powerful man, ' march by the side of my carriage on 
entries and at ceremonies.' There are thus at Rome 
hundreds of petty leagues, and the more men a man has 
under his control and in his service, the stronger he is. 

Such a system brings ruin, and the first thing is to 
borrow. In this respect the nobles imitate the state, or, 
in order to obtain ready money they mortgage their 
revenues, and fail to keep their engagements. For seven 
years the creditors of the Farnese do not receive a crown ; 
and as among these creditors there are hospitals and chari- 
table establishments, the pope is compelled to dispatch 
soldiers to occupy the Farnese territory at Castro. 
In these days, moreover, disputes grow out of breaches of 
etiquette, and provoke veritable wars, and you may 
imagine the expense of these. The Barberini, having 
received no visit from Odoardo Farnese, deprive him 
of the right of exporting his corn, whereupon the latter 
invades the States of the Church with a body of three 
thousand horse, declaring that he does not come to attack 
the pope but only his nephews. The nephews in their 
turn raise an army ; the soldiers on both sides are merce- 
naries, French and German, and the country is pillaged 
by the two cavalcades until, finally, peace is effected, and 
both parties find themselves with empty pockets. In 
order to refill them the natural course is to oppress the 



people. Donna Olympia, sister-in-law of Innocent X. 2 
sells public offices. The brother of Alexander VI. , chiel 
judge at Borgo, makes a market of justice. Taxes 
become frightful. A contemporary writes 'that the 
people, without revenue, clothes, beds, and kitchen utensils 
to satisfy the requirements of the commissaries, ha^e 
only one resource left with which to pay taxes, and that 
is to sell themselves as slaves.' They cease to work and 
the country becomes impoverished. In the following 
century De Brosses writes, e The government is as bad as 
one could possibly conceive of. Imagine what a people 
must be of whom one third are priests, and another third 
idlers ; where there is neither agriculture, commerce, nor 
manufactures, in the midst of a fertile country, and on a 
navigable river, and in which at every change fresh 
robbers come to take the place of those who no longer 
need to plunder.' 

In such a country labour is a delusion. Why should 
I take the trouble to work, knowing that the exchequer 
or some noble, or some protected knave, will rob me 
of the fruits of my labour ? It is much better to attend 
the levee of a valet-de-ckambre of some dignitary ; he will 
obtain for me a slice of the cake. ' If a common girl 
enjoys protection through the bastard of a cardinal's 
apothecary, she has secured to her five or six dowries 
charged on five or six churches, and no longer desires to 
learn how to sew or to spin ; another scoundrel espouses her 
through the attraction of this ready money,' and they live 
by sponging ; later as panders, solicitors, and beggars they 
fish for their dinner wherever they can find it. .High 
life then begins, such as the picaresco novels portray it, 
and not merely in Rome but throughout Italy. Labour is 
regarded as an indignity, and people aim at display ; they 
hire servants and forget to pay them their wages ; they 
dine on a turnip and wear lace ; they obtain credit of th* 


merchants and repel their demands with lies and entreaties. 
Goldoni's comedies are full of these well-born personages, 
clever and cultivated and living at the expense of others. 
They get themselves invited into the country; they are 
always gay, dashing, and conversational, poetic in honuiir 
of their host and advisory in all his building enterprises ; 
above all they borrow his money and do full justice to 
his table, being called c cavaliers of the tooth ; ' buffoons, 
flatterers, and gluttons, they would readily accept a 
kick for a crown* The memoirs of the day furnish 
hundreds of examples of this degeneracy. Carlo Gozzi, 
on returning home from his travels with a friend, stops a 
moment to contemplate the superb f agade of the palace of 
his family. They ascend a broad marble staircase and are 
astonished at what they behold, the house seeming to have 
been given up to pillage. ' The floor of the great hall was 
entirely destroyed. There were deep cavities everywhere, 
over which one stumbled with a severe shock ; the broken 
windows let the wind in from all quarters, and the soiled 
tapestry hung on the walls in shreds. Not a trace was left 
rf a magnificent gallery of old paintings ; I could find but 
two portraits of my ancestors, one by Titian and the other 
by Tintoretto. 5 The women pawn, hire, or sell, what they 
can and how they can. "When necessity prompts them they 
no longer stop to reason. One day the sister-in-law of 
Gozzi sells to a sausage-maker by weight a bundle of olu 
papers consisting of contracts, trust-deeds, and titles to 
property. All these circumstances provide the expedients, 
intrigues, and humorous features of the Roman comique. 
It is on]y necessary to read that scapegrace Casanova, in 
order to know to what gilded misery can descend. He 
undoubtedly, Kke all rogues, kept the company of his 
equals ; but 1< rench rascality has with him a different air 
and quite other actors than Italian. He accosts a count, 
an <vfticei of the Venetian Republic, an amiable mai^ 


whose wife and daughter are refined both in manners and in 
address ; on the following day he visits them, and finds 
the window blinds almost closed ; he opens them slightly 
and perceives two poor women dressed in rags and in linen 
by no means attractive ; they hire fine clothes for Sunday 
in order to attend mass, without which they would obtain 
no share of the ecclesiastical alms that enable them to 
keep body and soul together. Some few years after this 
he returns to Milan. Husbands and brothers, all gentle- 
men and well bred and many quite proud, play the part 
of panders in their own families ; a count with whom he 
lodges, and who is without fuel to make a fire, blu shingly 
offers to negociate the honour of his wife. Another, 
Count Kinaldi, on learning that his daughter brings a 
hundred crowns instead of fifty weeps for joy. Charming 
women who, for lack of money, could not visit Milan, are 
unable to resist a supper and a dress. The son of a noble 
Venetian keeps a gambling-hell, cheats at play and con- 
fesses it. A young lady of the nobility confesses that 
€ her father taught her to cut the cards at faro so as never 
to lose.' Men and women go down on their knees before 
a sequin. Quotations are impossible ; the actual words 
of the swindling charlatan adventurer can alone make 
visible the extraordinary contrast between morals and 
manners ; on the one hand fine clothes, polished phrases, 
elegant style, and the taste and deportment of the 
best society; and on the other the effrontery, the acts, 
the gestures, and the filth of the vilest. It is to this low 
level that the seigneurial life of the sixteenth century- 
descended. "When the people no longer work, and the 
great rob, we see chevaliers d'industrie and female adven- 
turers in swarms ; honour is an article of merchandise 
like other things, and it is bartered for coin when naught 
else remains. 
And yet it is to this society of the idle and the privileged 


that we owe the great works of art which now attract 
visitors to Rome. In the absence of all other interests 
men occupied themselves with forming galleries and with 
architecture ; the pleasure of building and the tastes of 
the antiquary and connoisseur were all that remained to 
a nobleman weary of ceremonies in a country where the 
chase and violent bodily exercises were no longer in 
fashion, where politics was interdicted, where neither 
public spirit nor humanitarian sympathy existed, and where 
a noble literature had become extinct, having been sup- 
planted by the grossest ignorance and insignificant verses. 
What could he do after he had provided for the interests 
of his house, returned his visits, and made love ? He 
builds and he buys. Until the eighteenth century, and 
in full decadence, this noble tradition subsists. He prefers 
beauty to convenience. c The houses,' says President De 
Brosses, ' are covered with antique bas-reliefs from top to 
bottom, but there is not a bedroom in them.' The Italian 
is not ostentatious, like the Frenchman, in his receptions 
and in gormandising ; in his eyes a fine fluted column is 
worth more than fifty repasts. ' His mode of self- 
display, after having acquired a fortune by a life of fru- 
gality, is to expend it in the construction of some grand 
public edifice ♦ ... in order to transmit to posterity in a 
durable manner his name, his magnificence, and his taste.' 
The traces of this peculiar life are visible at every step 
in the hundred and fifty palaces that crowd Home. You 
see immense courts, high walls like prison walls, and 
monumental fa9ades. Nobody is in the court — it is a 
desert; sometimes at its entrance are a dozen loungers 
seated on the stones, appearing to be pulling up the grass ; 
you would imagine the palace abandoned. This is fre- 
quently the case, its ruined master lodging in the fourth 
story and trying to let a portion of the rest, all these build- 
ings being too grand, too disproportionate to the standard 


of modern living, and unfit for anything but museum* 
and ministerial purposes. You ring and a ' Swiss/ some 
solemn-visaged lackey, slowly answers the bell ; these 
people all look like the doleful birds of the Jardin des 
Plantes, begilded, striped, befeathered, and sad, but 
roosting on a suitable perch. Very often nobody comes, 
although you are there at the proper day and hour, because 
the custode is executing some commission for the princess ; 
and thereupon the visitor curses a country in which all 
support themselves on strangers, and in which nobody is 
prompt. You mount countless flights of steps, of extra- 
ordinary width and height, and find yourself in a range of 
apartments of still greater width and height ; you advance 
— there is no end to them; you walk for five minutes 
before reaching the dining hall, in which four regiments 
of infantry with their sappers and musicians might all be 
lodged ; the Austrian embassy at Venice is as much lost 
in one of these palaces as a nest of rats in an old mill. — 
Suppose, for instance, that you have a visit to pay; in vain 
does the family occupy the palace — it seems to be empty. 
You notice a few servants in the antichamber; beyond 
this solitude begins — five or six enormous halls, filled with 
faded furniture, most of it in the fashion of the Empire. 
You cast your eyes out of a window as you pass, and see 
lofty heavy walls, moss-covered pavements, and the corn- 
ices of a mutilated and leprous roof. At length human 
figures reappear — one or two officers ; the)' announce 
yeu, and you stand before a plain-looking man in a frock- 
coat seated in a modern fauteil in a smaller chamber, and 
duly arranged with a view to comfort and warmth. If 
there is a melancholy abode in the world, one more dis- 
cordant with modern usages, it is that which this man 
occupies. By way of contrast remark, on leaving it, a 
renovated hotel such as you encounter among the lesser 
ucbility, — the house of an artist, of which there are a 


number near the Piazza di Spagna, with its carpets and 
flower-stands, its fresh new and elegant furniture, the 
many charming evidences of prosperity, its moderate and 
convenient dimensions, everything it contains that is 
attractive, brilliant, comfortable, and delightful. On the 
contrary, the palace requires sixty liveried lackeys and 
eighty dependent gentlemen on wages ; these constitute 
the natural furniture for each apartment: the courts 
require the twenty carriages and the hundred horses of 
its ancient masters; add to this various services of 
plate, tapestries, and millions of cash in hand to regild or 
renew its furniture as in the days of the popes of two 
centuries ago. Its pictures, all those grand figures in 
action, those splendid nudities hung on the walls, are 
nothing now but monuments of an extinct existence, too 
voluptuous and too corporeal for the life of the present. 
A lizard quartered in the carcase of an antediluvian croco- 
dile, his ancestor, is a symbol of the aristocratic life of 
Borne; the crocodile was a fine one, but he is now dead 



Of all these fossils the grandest, noblest, most im- 
posing and rigidly magnificent is, in my opinion, the 
Farnese palace. It is situated in a vile quarter. In 
order to reach it you pass near the gloomy and dilapidated 
Cenci palace. Five minutes before I had traversed the 
Ghetto of the Jews, a veritable nest of pariahs in a labyrinth 
of crooked streets and foul gutters, its houses with their 
dislocated bulging fronts reminding one of dropsical 
hernia, their dark courts discharging exhalations, and 
their winding stone steps clinging to walls reeking with 
the filth of centuries. Ugly, dwarfed, and pallid figures 
swarmed here like mushrooms growing on a heap of 

You arrive, your mind filled with images of this de- 
scription. Alone, in the middle of a dark square, rises 
the enormous palace, lofty and massive, like a fortress 
capable of giving and receiving the heaviest ordinance. 
It belongs to the grand era; its architects, San. Gallo, 
Michael Angelo and Vignolles, and especially the first 
named, have stamped upon it the veritable Renaissance 
character, that of virile energy. It is indeed akin to the 
torsoes of Michael Angelo ; you feel in it the inspiration 
of the great pagan epoch, the age of tragic passions and 


of unimpaired energies that foreign dominion and the 
catholic restoration were about to weaken and degrade. 
The exterior is a colossal square form, with strong barred 
windows, and almost wholly without ornament ; it has to 
resist attack, endure for centuries, and lodge a prince and 
a small army of retainers ; this is the first idea of its 
master and of its architect ; that of the pleasing cornea 
Afterward. But the term pleasing is badly chosen; 
amidst bold and dangerous customs, amusement, and 
graceful amiability as we comprehend it, are never thought 
of; what they prize is grave masculine beauty, and they 
express it by lines and by constructions as well as by 
frescoes and statues. Above this grand, almost bare 
facade, the cornice that forms the edge of the roof is both 
rich and severe, and its continuous framework, so noble 
and appropriate, maintains the entire mass together, so 
that the whole is a single form. The enormous bossagea 
of the angles, the variety of the long lines of windows, 
the thickness of the walls, constantly mingle together 
the ideas of force and beauty. You enter through a 
sombre vestibule, as solid as a postern, peopled with 
arabesques and supported by twelve short Doric columns of 
red granite. The admirable interior court here presents 
itself, and the finest portion of the edifice. The exterior 
is for defence, the interior for promenade, repose, and 
to enjoy the cool air. Each story has its own inner pro- 
menade and portico of columns, every column being inserted 
in a strong arch and forming a resisting echinus, which 
adds considerably to its energetic appearance ; the balus 
trades however, and the diversity of the stories, one 
being Doric and another Ionic, and especially the garland 
of fruits and flowers separating them, and the lilies sculp- 
tured in arabesque, overspread this severity with beauty 
like a bright light in the midst of a powerful shadow. 
The Sciarra and Doria Palaces. — As the former king of 


Naples occupies the Farnese palace it is difficult to gel 
access to it in order to examine the paintings ; the others 
are open on fixed days. Proprietors have the taste and 
good sense to convert their private galleries into public 
museums. Hand-cards are placed upon the tables and 
serve as catologues for the convenience of visitors, while 
the concierges and keepers gravely pocket their two 
pauls' gratuity ; they are, in fact, functionaries that serve 
the public and must be paid by the public. — This shows 
the transition from aristocratic to democratic life ; mas- 
ter-pieces and palaces have ceased with us to be the 
property of individuals, in order to become the usufruct 
of all. 

The Sciarra Palace. — Two precious pictures here are 
under glass, the first and the most beautiful being the 
f Violin-player ' by Raphael. This represents a young 
man in a black cap and green mantle with a fur collar, and 
thick brown hair descending over it. There is good 
reason for pronouncing Raphael the prince of painters. It 
is impossible to be more sober and more simple, to 
comprehend grandeur more naturally and with less of effort. 
His faded frescoes and defaced ceilings do not fully re- 
present him; one must see works like this in which 
the colouring is not impaired and the relief remains 
intact. The young man slowly turns his head, fixing his 
eye on the spectator. The nobleness and calmness of the 
head are incomparable, also its gentleness and intelligence; 
you cannot imagine a more beautiful, a more delicate 
spirit, one more worthy of being loved. His seriousness 
is such that one mis;ht imagine he detected a shade of me« 
lancholy; but the truth is he is in repose and he has anoble 
nature. The more one contemplates Raphael the more does 
one recognise that he had a tender confiding soul, similar to 
that of Mozart, that of a man of genius who displayed his 
genius without suffering, and ever dwelt with ideal forms ; 


he remained good, like a superior creature traversing 
the baseness and miseries of life without being affected 
by them. 

The other picture is a portrait of Titian's mistress, noble 
also and calm like a Greek statue ; one hand rests on a 
casket and the other touches the magnificent hair which 
falls from her reck. The white chemise lies in careless 
folds, and a large red mantle encircles the shoulders. 
What folly to compare together these two painters and 
these two pictures ! Is it not better to enjoy in them both 
aspects of life. 

Two f Magdalens ' by Guido. Here you make compa- 
risons in spite of yourself; you turn away immediately 
from these chalky, feeble productions, executed mechani- 
cally and barren of all ideas. 

One of the masterpieces of this gallery, and perhaps 
the greatest, I find to be the ' Modesty and Vanity * of 
Leonardo da Vinci. It is simply two female figures on 
a dark background. Here, and as if by contrast, what 
there is of ideas is incredible. This man is the most pro- 
found, the most thoughtful of painters ; his was a subtle 
intellect full of curious questionings, caprices, refinements, 
intricacies, sublime conceptions, and perhaps of sad expe- 
riences beyond all his contemporaries. He was universal — 
painter, sculptor, architect, machinist, engineer; antici- 
pating modern science and defining and pursuing its 
method anterior to Bacon ; inventive in all things, even to 
appearing eccentric to the men of his age ; diving into 
and pressing onward through coming centuries and ideas, 
without confining himself to any one art or occupation, or 
contenting himself with what he knew or had done, but 
on the contrary dissatisfied at the very time when the 
self-love of the most ambitious would have been most 
gratified, always preoccupied in outstripping himself and 
in advancing on his own discoveries, like a navigator, who 


indifferent to success and oblivious of the possible, plunges 
irresistibly into the infinite and unknown. The expression 
of the face representing Vanity is extraordinary. We 
can never know the research, the combinations, the sen- 
sations, the internal spontaneous reflective labour, the 
ground traversed by his spirit and intellect in order to 
evolve a head like this. She is much more delicately 
formed and more noble and elegant than Monna Lisa. 
The luxuriance and taste of the coiffure are remarkable. 
Beautiful clusters of curls tower above the head and reflect 
hyacinthine hues, while waving tresses descend upon the 
shoulders. The face is almost fleshless ; the features on 
which expression depends absorb it entirely. She has a 
strange melancholy smile, one peculiar to Da Vinci, 
combining the sadness and irony of a superior nature ; a 
queen, a goddess, an adored mistress possessing all and 
finding that all but little, would thus smile. 

The landscape saloon is one of the richest ; it contains 
several Claude Lorraines, some Locatellis, and a vast 
landscape by Poussin, representing St. Matthew writing 
near a large sheet of water in a country composed of 
broad monumental features — ever the same Italian land- 
scape as understood in this country, that is to say, the 
villa magnified, just as the English garden is a transcript 
in miniature of the open country of England. The two 
races, the German and the Latin, show here their 
opposition; one loves nature for itself, while the other 
accep+s it only as decoration in order to appropriate it and 
subordinate it to man. The finest picture here is a 
large landscape by Poussin representing a winding river, 
a forest on the left, in the foreground a ruined colonnade 
with a tower in the middle distance, and beyond a range of 
blue mountains. These parts are thus arranged architectu- 
rally, and the masses of colour, like the forms, are simple, 
powerful, quiet, and well contrasted. This gravity, thii 


regularity, satisfies the mind if not the eyes ; in order fully 
to appreciate it, however, one must love tragedy, classic 
verse, the pomp of etiquette, and seigneurial or monarchi- 
cal grandeur. The distance between these and modern 
sentiments is infinite. Who would recognise the life of 
nature here as we comprehend it, such as our poets 
portray it — undulating and subject to caprices, by turns 
delicate, strange, and powerful, expressive in itself and as 
varied as man's physiognomy? — Just as the Sciarra 
palace is dilapidated so is the Doria palace magnificent. 
Among the Roman families that of the Doria is one of 
the richest; there are eight hundred pictures in the 
various apartments. You pass through a long series of 
rooms covered with them, and then enter the gallery, a 
superb square promenade, extending around a court filled 
with verdant plants and painted in fresco and decorated 
with large mirrors. Three of its sides are filled with 
pictures, and the fourth with statues. Here and there 
are family busts and portraits, that of Admiral Andre 
Doria the leading citizen and liberator of Genoa, and that 
of Donna Olympia, who governed the Church under 
Innocent X. Such a gallery on a reception day, illu- 
minated and crowded with the rich costumes of officers, 
cardinals, ambassadors and others must afford a unique 
spectacle. I have seen in other places two or three of 
these grand entertainments. The staircases and vesti- 
bules are decked with the laurel and the orange, mingled 
with busts and statues ; the animated flesh of the pictures 
glows magnificently in their golden frames on their 
dark backgrounds; long galleries and spacious saloons, 
thirty feet in height, allow groups to assemble and dis- 
perse with the utmost facility : flaming candelabra and 
lustrous chandeliers fill a vast space with light without 
dazzling the eye with its profusion ; while half-shadows 
and middle-tints do not disappear, as in our small 


drawing-rooms, beneath the crudity and uniformity 
of a white light. Each group has its own peculiar tint and 
lives in its own atmosphere : amongst silken hangings, 
between chaste marble statues, under the sombre reflec- 
tions of bronzes the assembly swims in a sort of fluid, the 
softness and depth of which the eye delights in. 

The landscapes of Poussin and of Gaspar Poussin, his 
pupil, almost fill an entire hall. They are the largest I 
ever saw, one of them being twenty feet long. By dint 
of regarding the skilfully composed details of the country 
before you, that dark foreground of large trees contrast- 
ing with the delicate tint of the distant mountain, and 
that broad opening of the sky, you succeed in abstracting 
yourself from your own age and in taking the position of 
the painter. If he does not feel the life of nature he feels 
its grandeur, and solemn gravity, and even its melancholy. 
He lived in solitude, in meditation, in an age of decline. 
Landscape perhaps may be but the last moment of paint- 
ing, that which closes a grand epoch and adapted to w r earied 
spirits. When man is still young in heart he is interested 
most in himself, nature being to him no more than an 
accompaniment. At least it is so in Italy ; if landscape 
art is developed there it is towards the end, in the time 
of the Arcadians and of pastoral academies; it already fills 
the larger portion of the canvasses of Albano and it entirely 
absorbs those of Canealetti, the last of the Venetians. 
Zuccarelli, Tempesta, and Salvator are landscapists. On 
the contrary, in the time of Michael Angelo and even 
in that of Vasari, trees and structures were disdained, 
everything but the human figure being regarded as 

There are several works here by Titian ; a ' Holy 
Family,' in his early style ; the superb corporeal type he 
is afterwards to develop in his mistresses here begins to 


appsar. Two portraits represent these; they are only 
healthy, good-looking women, one of whom, decked in 
pearls and with a small collar, being the most appetising 
of well-fed servant girls. A merry * Magdalen/ fully 
exposing her breast, is simply an animal. A ' St. Agnes ' 
is only a good little pouting girl, very childlike and quite 
free of any mystic sentiment. In his ' Sacrifice of 
Abraham ' poor Isaac cries like a little boy with a cut 
finger. Titian, almost as much as Rubens, dares portray 
the temperament of man, the passions of flesh and blood, 
the low, unrestrained instincts— in short, the brutal life of 
the body ; but he does not give it full rein ; he maintains 
the rebellious flesh within the confines of harmonious form ; 
voluptuousness with him is never unaccompanied with 
nobleness. Happiness with him is not the satisfaction of 
the senses, but besides this the gratification of poetic 
instincts ; he does not descend to kermesses but delights 
in fetes, and not those of rustics but of epicureans and of 
grand seigneurs. Instinct with such natures may be as 
strong, as intemperate as among the vulgar, but it is 
accompanied with another intellect, and is not gratified at 
so little cost ; it does not demand turnips on a pewter 
dish but oranges on a salver of gold. You cannot 
imagine truer and healthier colour than that of his 
6 Three Ages of Man,' a more blooming and fresher form 
than this superb blonde woman, in a red robe with the 
sleeves of her white chemise gathered at the shoulders, 
exposing the solid whiteness of her lovely arms. The ex« 
pression is calm and serious. We are no longer capable 
of painting the beauty which might provoke but does not 

Several pictures of the Bolognese school are all of the 
same character. One, by Guercino, and very black, 
represents Herminia meeting Tancred wounded and in a 
swoon. The attendant is an academy head, and the 


uve in a swoon is copied from life with a melodramatic 
n.— The second picture is by Guido, a ' Madonna 
adoring the infant Jesus.' The Madonna is a pretty 
boarding-school miss ; this picture already smacks of the 
devout affectation and other influences of the c sacred- 
heart.' — The third is a Pieta by Annibal Carrache. His 
Christ, a handsome young fellow, has a head distingue 
and sentimental, such as would please a pretty woman. 
The little weeping cherubs point touchingly to the holes 
in the feet and try to raise the heavy arm. Pretty senti- 
mental efforts like these suited the fashionable pietism 
of the seventeenth century — a religion adapted to mystic 
and worldly women. 

But the most striking examples are, in my opinion, the 
portraits. One by Paul Veronese represents Lucrezia 
Borgia in black velvet, the breast slightly exposed, 
with bows of lace on the sleeves and corsage, a large and 
mature form, her hair combed back, her forehead low, and 
with a singular look out of the eyes, as she appeared at 
the time Bembo addressed to her the periods and pro- 
testations of his ceremonious letters. — Admiral Andrea 
Doria by Sebastian del Piombo is that of a superb states- 
man and warrior, with a commanding air and calm look, 
his large head appearing still larger through its ample 
grey beard. There is another head by Bronzino, that of 
Machiavelli, animated, humorous, and suggestive of a 
burlesque actor ; you would call him a sly fellow, attentive 
to all that goes on around him, and in search of the comic. 
In Machiavelli the historian, philosopher, and statesman, 
conceal the comedian, and this comedian is coarse, licen- 
tious, often bitter, and at last desponding. His jesting after 
his torture is well-known, and his funereal gaiety during the 
plague. When one is too sad he must laugh in order not 
to weep. In the seventeenth century and in France he 
might perhaps have been a Moliere. — Two portraits 


attributed to Raphael, or in his manner, those of Bartolo 
and Baldo, are rough jolly fellows; he has seized the 
entire man without any omission, in the very centre ot 
his being. Other painters by the side of Raphael lack 
equilibrium and are eccentric. — The masterpiece of all 
the portraits is that of Pope Innocent X. by Velasquez ; 
on a red chair before a red curtain under a red hat and 
above a red mantle is a red face, that of a miserable fool and 
pedant; make a picture out of this which is never forgotten! 
One of my friends, on returning from Madrid, remarked 
that, by the side of Velasquez' great pictures all the others, 
however true and magnificent, seemed dead and academic. 
The Borghese Palace. — If on turning the corner of a 
copse you were to see a fawn advancing its head and 
listening, you would admire the gracefully bending neck, 
and feel the supple, waving motion of the body, as it 
darted off at the first alarm to scamper away in the un- 
derwood; when a horse near you tries to jump, and gathers 
up his hind-quarters to spring, you feel the swelling of the 
muscles that throw him on his haunches, and you interest 
yourself sympathetically in the attitude and in the effort. 
You do not expect anything more ; you do not require an 
additional moral idyl, a psychological intention such as 
Landseer seeks. Such is the spirit in which the pictures 
of the great Italian century must be considered ; ex- 
pression comes later, along with the Caracci. That which 
occupies men about the year 1500 is the human animal, 
and its accompaniment, a simple easy costume. Add to 
this the pompous superstition of the time, the need of 
Baints for churches and of decoration for palaces. Out of 
these two sentiments the rest all flow ; the second, again, 
has simply furnished the motive ; the substance of art 
comes from the first. They were right ; grief, joy, rage, 
pity, all the fchades and varieties of passion visible to 
the inward eye, if I subordinate the body to them ; if 

q 2 


muscles and drapery are only there to translate these, I 
employ forms and colours simply as means, and do that 
which I could better do with another art, as for example, 
poetry. I commit the same mistake as is made in music 
when a strain of the clarion ette attempts to express the 
triumphant ruse of the young Horatius ; the same error as 
in literature when with twenty-five lines of ink on white 
paper it attempts to convey an idea of the curve of a nose 
or a chin. I fall short of picturesque effect and only hali 
attain to a literary effect ; I am only half-painter, half- 

This idea recurs to one constantly, for example, before 
the ' Madonnas ' and the ' Venuses ' of Andrea del Sarto — 
all pretty young girls related to each other ; and before the 
c Visitation ' of Sebastian del Poimbo — which is a Visita- 
tion if you choose to call it so, but if properly named would 
be entitled, an erect young woman standing by the side of 
an old woman stooping. Two different men were embodied 
in the spectator of that day : the devotee, who, in commis- 
sioning a picture for a church believed he was gaining a 
hundred years' indulgence, and the man of action, whose 
head was filled with physical imagery and who delighted 
in the contemplation of healthy bodily activity and fine 

The ' Sacred and Profane Love ' by Titian is still 
another masterpiece of the same spirit. A beautiful 
woman dressed appears by the side of another naked, 
which is all, and enough One, calm with noblest serenity, 
and the other white with the amber whiteness of living 
flesh between red and white drapery, the breasts slightly 
defined, and the head free from licentious vulgarity, gives 
an idea of love of the happiest kind. By their side is a 
sculptured fountain, and behind them a broad landscape 
of a blue tone with warm patches of earth intersected by 
the darks of sombre forests, and in the distance the sea f 


two cavaliers are visible in the background, also a spire 
and a town. People loved the actual landscapes which 
they saw daily, and these were put into their pictures 
without much thought of their suitableness ; everything 
is designed to please the eye, nothing to please the 
reasoning faculties. The eye passes from the simple 
tones of that ample ind healthy flesh to the rich subdued 
tints of the landscape, as the ear passes from a melody 
to its accompaniment. Both are in harmony, and in 
going from one to the other you feel a pleasure that 
continues to be a pleasure of the same order. In his 
other picture of the f Three Graces,' after contemplating 
the first with her beautiful calm countenance, the golden 
diadem sown with pearls extending up to the middle of 
her crisped locks, and those blonde tresses descending in 
silken waves on the neck down to her robe, you let the 
eye pass to the magnificent landscape of naked rocks made 
blue by distance and atmosphere, and the poesy of nature 
completes that of the body. 

There are seventeen hundred pictures in this gallery. 
How speak of them? Enumerate all the museums of 
Italy, all beyond the mountains and those that have 
perished, and add to this that there is not a private house 
of any pretension which does not possess one or more old 
pictures. It is with Italian painting as with that Greek 
sculpture which formerly accumulated at Rome sixty 
thousand statues. Each of these arts corresponds to a 
peculiar epoch in the human mind ; men thought then 
through colours and through forms. 

One of these pictures remains in the mind — tliQ 
4 Diana's Chase ' by Domenichino. This represents 
Uaked and half-naked young girls, gay and somewhat 
vulgar, bathing, playing, and drawing the bow. One, 
lying on her back, displays a charmingly infantile arch 
expression. Another, having just shot an arrow, smiles 


with the gaiety of a pretty village lass. A little thing 
about fifteen, with a solid hearty torso, is removing the last 
of her two sandals. All these young creatures are plump, 
alert, and pretty, somewhat grisettish in character, and 
accordingly with not much of the goddess about them. 
But what natural youthful faces and charms ! Dome- 
nichino is an original earnest artist, and quite the 
opposite of Guido. Among the exigencies of fashion 
and the conventionalities of partisans he maintains his 
own sentiment and dares to adhere to it ; he resorts to 
nature and interprets her his own way. His contem- 
poraries punished him for it, for he lived unhappy and 

The Barberini and Rospigliosi Palaces. — It is pleasant 
to follow up an idea. I went to see his other pictures, 
one of which in the Barberini palace represents Adam and 
Eve before the Creator after their fall. In this work the 
painter shows himself as conscientious as he is bungling. 
Adam with the air of a stupid domestic apologises for 
himself and pitifully points to Eve, who with a not less 
exaggerated concern for herself points to the serpent. 
f It is not my fault she is to blame.' e It is not my 
fault but his.' The artist evidently pursues the moral 
aspect of the subject, insisting on it with the scrupulous 
fidelity of a declining school of art. Raphael never 
descended to this point. Another sign of the time, one of 
ecclesiastical decency, is that Eve and Adam wear aprons 
of loaves. The body and head of the woman, however, 
and the cherubs bearing Jehovah are of the greatest 
beauty, and the painting is solid. Domenichino was a 
shoemaker's son, slow, painstaking, of a modest gentle 
nature, very ugly, unfortunate in love poor, criticised, 
oppressed, wholly absorbed with himself and sell-mterro- 
gating, and without always getting a response, like a 
plant which, incompletely developing in a bad atmosphere 


and under frequent showers, produces among many abortive 
blossoms here and there a beautiful flower. 

There is in the Rospigiiosi palace another c Eve ' by 
him, this time plucking the apple. Eve is a beautiful 
figure, and there is no part of the picture that does not 
show careful study. But what an odd idea the display of 
that menagerie of animals around them, and that red 
paroquet on the tree of life ! The tree has on it a hump, 
a sort of step by which Adam is mounting upward. On 
the other hand his ' Triumph of David,' by the side of 
this overflows with genius and naturalness. Nothing can 
be found more charming and animated than that group of 
females, playing on musical instruments ; one especially, 
bending forward and extending her arms with a sistrum 
in her hands, with a blue tunic and the leg bare, is in an 
attitude of indescribable grace ; the flesh seems to be im- 
pregnated with light. No pose of the human structure, 
so as to display every part of the fine animal to greater 
advantage, could possibly be given. The heads are 
youthful, and of true virginal grace and sincerity; they 
are creations. We see a man, with the true heart of a 
painter, one who felt the beautiful in and for itself, one 
who is seeking, creating, and wrestling with his conception 
and labouring with all his power to express it, and not a 
simple manufacturer of figures like Guido. s He was 
never weary,' says his biographer, € of attending large 
assemblies of people, in order to observe the attitudes and 
expressions by which innate sentiments are made mani- 
fest.' You remark throughout all his productions thia 
effort at expression and sometimes too great, as, for in- 
stance, the irritated aspect of Saul, who is violently clutch- 
ing his tunic. The painter aimed to show the jealousy 
of one who half-betrays and half-restrains himself. 
Painting, however, poorly renders complications and shades! 
of sentiment; psychology is not its business. 


This palace contains the celebrated frescoed ceiling by 
Guido called the ' Aurora.' The god of day is seated on 
his chariot surrounded by a choir of dancing Hours, pre- 
ceded by the early morning Hour scattering flowers. The 
deep blue of the sea, still obscure, is charming. There is 
a joyousness, a complete pagan amplitude about these 
blooming goddesses, with their hands interlinked, and 
all dancing as if at an antique fete. In fact he copied 
the antique, the Niobe group, for instance, and in this 
way formed his style ; the type once found he always 
repeated it, consulting, not nature, but the agreeableness 
of the effect on the spectator's mind. Accordingly his 
figures generally resemble those of fashion plates ; for 
instance, the 'Andromeda' of the neighbouring apart- 
ment, which has no form or substance, and which, in fact, 
is not a living existence but only a combination of pleas- 
ing contours. Guido was an admired, fortunate, 
worldly artist, accommodating himself to the taste of the 
day, and pleasing the ladies. He declared that he had 
' two hundred ways of making the eyes look up to 
heaven.' What he contributes to this trifling, gallant, 
already satiated society, flourishing with sigisbes, is a 
delicate effeminate expression unknown to the old masters 
— the physiognomies and conventional smiles of society. 
Veritable energy, the interior force of undisguised pas- 
sion, had already disappeared in Italy ; people no longer 
admired the true virgins, the primitive spirits, the 
simple peasants of Raphael, but the sentimental inmates 
of convents and parlours in the shape of highly cultivated 
young ladies. The bold free spirit of former times is gone ; 
traces of republican familiarity no longer exist ; people 
converse ceremoniously according to etiquette, using sound- 
titles and obsequious phrases ; since the; Spanish conquest 
they cease to address each other as brother or neighbour, 
but don the title of monseigneur. Tastes change at 


natures change. Effeminate, fastidious people dislike 
simple and strong figures ; they require conventional 
smoothness., sweet smiles, curiously intermingled tints, 
sentimental visages, the pleasing and far-fetched in 
everything ; sometimes, and by the way of contrast, they 
admire the audacity of Caravaggio, the crudity and 
triviality of literal imitation, just as they accept a glass of 
brandy after twenty of sweetened orgeat. The contrast 
is apparent in the Barberini gallery on comparing two 
celebrated portraits, which, a hundred years apart, have 
been regarded affectionately and as models of beauty. 
The ' Fornarina ' by Raphael is simply a body with a 
brunette head, a hardened look, an expression vulgarly 
joyous, strongly marked eyelids, the arms too large below 
the elbow, and the shoulders too suddenly falling, in short a 
common vigorous woman of the masses, similar to the baker 
girl who was Lord Byron's mistress, and who thee'd and 
thou'd him, and called him a cane della Madonna. Raphael 
certainly found nothing in this figure, but a human 
animal, healthy and of good parts, and furnishing him with 
useful suggestions of lines. The ' Cenci,' on the contrary, 
by Guido, is a pale, pretty, and delicate creature ; her 
small chin, mincing mouth, and the curves of the face 
are pleasing ; draped in white and her head surrounded 
with white she poses like a model to be studied. She is 
interesting and fragile ; deprive her of the pallor due to her 
melancholy situation, and nothing remains but an amiable 
young lady, like the virgin of the ' Annunciation ' in the 
Louvre before the Angel, and a pretty page. This is 
what the sonnet writers and ladies admire ! 





It seems that your friends accuse me of irreverence. 
One visits Rome then to admire everything, and to take 
no notice of the dirty beggars and garbage on the corners 
of the streets ! As you please my worthy friends ; I am 
going to give you greater offence. Admit that I am 
here in the wrong season, that I record hasty impressions, 
that I talk sacrilegiously prompted merely by curiosity and 
a love of history, and that I handle neither brush, graver, 
nor modelling stick — all of which is true ; but let every 
instrument utter its own music, and do not exact from 
me a common, monotonous tune, transmitted from one 
bird-organ to another for the greater glorification of 
tradition. I could never admit, for instance, that the 
churches of Rome are Christian, and this pains me, for it 
will prove prejudicial to me. If there is any place on the 
earth where it is proper to experience compassion, com- 
punction, veneration, the sublime and solemn sentiment 
of the infinite, of the beyond, it is here ; unfortunately, one 
feels only sentiments of the opposite character. How often 
by contrast have I thought of our Gothic churches — of 
Rheims, Chartres, Paris, and especially Strasbourg ! I 
had revisited Strasbourg three months before this, and 


had passed an afternoon alone in its vast interior 
drowned in shadow. A strange light, a sort of dark 
flickering purple, died away in the impenetrable black- 
ness. In the background the choir and apsis with their 
massive circle of round columns, the strong primitive half- 
Roman church, disappeared in night — an antique root 
buried in the ground, a trunk thick and indestructible, 
around which the entire Gothic vegetation had expanded 
and flourished. There were no chairs in the grand nave, 
and scarcely more than four or five of the devout knelt 
there or wandered about like spectres. No miserable 
housekeeping, no frippery of commonplace worship, no 
agitation of human insects, existed there to trouble the 
sanctity of solitude. The ample space between the pillars 
expanded dark beneath the vault, filled with dubious light 
and almost palpable .shadows. Alone, above the black 
choir one luminous window detached itself, crowded with 
radiant figures as if a glimpse into paradise. 

The choir was filled with priests, but from the entrance 
one could distinguish nothing, so deep was the gloom and 
so great the distance. There were no ornaments visible 
and no petty idols. Alone in the obscurity, amongst 
grand forms scarcely discernible, two chandeliers with 
their lighted tapers illuminated the two corners of the 
altar like two trembling spirits. Chants arose and fell 
at regular intervals like swinging censers. Occasionally 
the clear voices of children in the distant choir made one 
think of the melody of cherubs, and from time to time an 
ample modulation of the organ covered all sounds with 
its majestic harmony. 

On advancing, Christian ideas invaded the mind with 
fresh power proportionately to every newly-disclosed 
aspect. When, on reaching the apsis, and the cold deserted 
crypt is seen in which the stone archbishop lies couched 
for eternity, like a Pharaoh on his sepulchre, and, leaving 


the funereal vault you turn away, the western rose ** window 
bursts out above the vast obscurity of the near arches in 
its border of black and blue, with its embroideries ol 
crimson and purple, its innumerable petals of amethyst 
and emerald, its mournful ardent splendour of mystic 
jewels flashing and sparkling in ruddy magnificence 
Here is heaven, as disclosed in the evening dream of a 
spirit that loves and suffers. Beneath, like a silent 
northern forest, the pillars extend their colossal files. 
Deep shadows and the violent opposition of radiant day- 
light image the Christian life plunged into this melan- 
choly world with glimpses of the world beyond, while on 
both sides, lost in the distance, the violet and crimson 
processions on the window-panes, the whole of sacred 
history, sparkle in revelations appropriate to the weak 
nature of man. 

How these barbarians of the middle ages felt the con- 
trast of lights and shadows ! What Rembrandts there 
were among the masons who prepared these mysterious 
undulations of glimmer and gloom! How true it is 
that art is only expression, that above all one must 
have a soul, that a temple is not a heap of stones 
or a combination of forms, but at once and uniquely a 
religion which speaks! This cathedral throughout 
appeals to the eyes at the first glance, to the first comer, 
to a poor wood-chopper of the Vosges or of the Black 
Forest, half brutish, stupified and mechanical, whose thick 
envelope no reasoning could penetrate, but whose mise- 
rable life amidst the snows, and solitude in his hut, and 
dreams under pines lashed by storms, filled with sen* 
Bations and instincts here aroused by every form and 
every hue. The symbol gives all at the first impression 
and makes all felt ; it goes straight to the heart through 
the eyes, without requiring to traverse the reasoning 
intellect. A man has no need of culture to be affected 

THE GfiSU. 237 

by tliis enormous aisle with its grave pillars regularly 
arranged and never weary in upholding this sublime vault ; 
it suffices him to have wandered during the winter months 
through the gloomy forests of the mountains. There i$ a 
world here, an abridgement of the great world as Christi- 
anity conceives it; to crawl, to grope with both hands 
against damp walls in this obscure life, amongst vacilla* 
ling uncertain gleams, amongst the buzzings and bitter 
whisperings of the human hive, and for consolation, to 
perceive here and there aloft in the air radiant figures, 
the mantle of azure, the divine eyes of a Virgin and child, 
the good Christ extending his benevolent hands, whilst a 
concert of clear silvery notes and triumphant hosannahs 
bear the soul away on their rolling chords and sym- 

The Gesu, March 15. — These are the souvenirs, and 
others similiar to them, which spoil for me or rather 
which explain to me the churches of Rome. They are 
almost all of the seventeenth century or of the end of the 
sixteenth, and bear the mark of the Catholic restoration 
following upon the council of Trent. Departing from 
this epoch, the religious sentiment becomes transformed ; 
the Jesuits have the ascendency. They possess a taste, as 
they possess a theology and a political scheme ; always 
a new conception of divine and human things produces a 
new mode of comprehending beauty ; man speaks in his 
decorations, in his capitals, in his cupolas, often more 
clearly and always more sincerely than in his actions and 
in his writings. 

In order to see this taste in full display it is necessary 
to visit the Gesu near the piazza in Venice, the central 
monument of the society, built by Vignolles and Jacques 
della Porta in the last quarter of the sixteenth century. 
The grand pagan renaissance perpetuates itself here, but 
with modifications. The semi-circular arches, the cupola 


the pilasters, the pediments, all the great parts of archi« 
tecture are, as in the renaissance itself, renewed from the 
antique ; but the rest is a decoration, and turns into luxury 
and gewgaws. With the solidity of its foundation and the 
soundness of its forms, with the pompous majesty ol 
its pilasters crowned with gilded capitals, its painted 
domes eddying with grand figures draped and half-naked, 
its paintings framed in with borderings of sculptured gold, 
its angels in relief springing over the edges of their 
brackets, this church resembles a magnificent banquet- 
hall, some regal hotel de ville decked out with all its silver 
and glass, its damask hangings, and curtains garnished with 
lace, in order to receive a monarch and do him the honours 
of a city. The cathedral of the middle ages suggested 
sublime and melancholy reveries, a sentiment of human 
misery, the vague divination of an ideal kingdom in which 
the passionate heart finds its consolation and its transports. 
The temple of the Catholic restoration inspires sentiments 
of submission, of admiration, or at least of deference to 
this personage so powerful, so long-established, and espe- 
cially so accredited and so richly furnished, called the 

Out of all this imposing and dazzling decoration one 
idea issues in the shape of a proclamation: c Ancient 
Home reunited the universe in a single empire ; I re- 
new it and I succeed to her. What she has done for 
the body I will do for minds. Through my missions, my 
seminaries, my hierarchy, I will establish universally, 
eternally, and magnificently, the Church. This Church is 
not, as Protestants desire it, an assembly of awakened and 
independent spirits, each active and reasoning over his 
Bible and his conscience; nor, as the early Christiana 
desired, an assembly of tender saddened souls, mystically 
united through ecstatic communion and the expectation 
of the kingdom of God ; but an organisation of ordained 


powers, a sacred institution subsisting through itself and 
sovereign over all minds. She is not a part of them, is 
not dependent on them, but has her source within herself. 
She is a kind of intermediary Deity, substituted for the 
Creator, and endowed with all his rights.' 

Such an ambition has its own grandeur, and gives rise 
to powerful sentiments. Undoubtedly it has nothing in 
common with the inward life of the spirit, with the con- 
stant questioning of the Christian conscience occupied in 
self examination before a just God ; but is wholly human, 
and resembles the zeal which a monk felt for his order, 
or a French subject of the seventeenth century for the 
monarchy; man feels himself comprehended in a vast 
durable institution which he prefers to himself, in w T hich he 
forgets himself, for which he labours and to which he de- 
votes himself. It was the passion of a Roman for Rome ; 
the new Rome in fact is to antique Rome what one of 
its churches with its dome is to the Pantheon of Agrippa, 
that is to say, an altered overloaded copy ; the same 
however at bottom, save this difference, that the govern- 
ment of the second Rome is spiritual and not temporal, 
and goes from soul to body and not from body to soul. 
In one as in the other the object is to regulate all human 
life according to a preconceived plan, to subject it to an abso- 
lute authority, outside of which all seems disorder and bar- ? 
barism. Where one employed force the other employs skill, 
management, patience, and the calculations of diplomacy 
and of policy; but fundamentally the heart has not 
changed, and in respect to spiritual habits, nothing is more 
like a Roman senator than a Catholic priest. 

It is at this point of view that one must place himself 
in order to comprehend the ecclesiastical edifices of thig 
country. They glorify not Christianity but the Church. 
This new Catholicism rests upon numerous supports and 
all of them are solid. 


On habit. — Man has a sheep-like intelligence , out 
of a hundred persons not three possess leisure or 
mind with which to shape for themselves an opinion on 
religious matters. The way is marked out ; ninety-seven 
follow it : of the remaining three, two and a half having 
groped about fruitlessly, return wearied to the beaten 

On the beautiful regularity and imposing exterior of 
the institution. — Since the Council of Trent ecclesiastical 
discipline has become more stringent ; under the counter- 
blow of the Reformation they have provided for the educa- 
tion and decent deportment of the clergy. 

On the pomp and prestige of the cult and of edifices ; on 
the great works accomplished, missions, conversions ; on 
the antiquity of the institution ; and on all that which 
Chateaubriand has developed in his beautiful style. 

On a superstitious imagination more or less great 
according to climate, very strong in southern countries, 
and terrible at the hour of death. — A man of warm blood, 
with highly coloured, passionate conceptions, is possessed 
through the eyes. I have seen many who believed them- 
selves rationalists and Voltaireans ; a funeral ceremony, 
the sight of a Madonna in her glittering shrine amidst the 
flashing oi tapers and clouds of incense, put them beside 
themselves, and brought them to the ground on their 

On repressive utility. — Governments, people of esta- 
blished position, proprietors and conservatives, find in it 
additional police security, that of the moral order of things. 

On the portion of virtue developed in it. — Certain 
lioble souls ire born into it, or, through natural delicacy, 
recover the poesy of mystic tradition, like Eugenie de 

These are only general demarcations ; there are other 
traits more special added by the Jesuits, and which are 


peculiar to the order ; you advance twenty paces in this 
church and they are at once perceptible. In these deli* 
eate, ingenious hands religion becomes worldly, and 
strives to please ; she decks her temple like a saloon, 
and even overdecks it ; it might be said that she displays 
her wealth ; she tries to please the eyes, to dazzle them, 
to pique wearied attention, to appear gallant and smart 
The little rotundas on the two sides of the great nave are 
charming marble cabinets, cool, and dimly lighted, like 
the boudoirs and bathing rooms of pretty women. Pre- 
cious marble columns raise their polished shafts on all 
sides, or are entwined with tints of orange, rose, and 
verd-antique. A tapestry of marble covers the walls 
with its motley hues ; pretty angels, in white marble, 
spring about over the cornices and display their elegant 
legs. Multiplied gildings run amongst the capitals, 
flash around the paintings, spread themselves in halos 
over the altars, crawl along the balustrades in luminous 
threads, mount upward in the sanctuaries in laboured 
bouquets of prodigal efflorescence, giving the air of a 
fete, and suggesting a princely gallery arranged for a 
ball. Amidst these glimmering golden reflections, among 
these incrustations of coloured marbles, through an 
atmosphere still fragant with incense, one sees grand 
groups of white marble in motion, proclaiming the new 
spirit of orthodoxy and obedience, Religion striking 
Heresy to the ground, and the Church overwhelming false 
teachers. On the left, behind a bronze balustrade, 
rises the throne of the patron saint of the place, the 
grand altar of St. Ignatius, crowded with pretty 
gilded cherubs playing in frames of agate, so adorned 
and embellished as to be unequalled, except by the 
scaffolding of figures, flambeaux, foliage, and gilding 
overhead, forming a pile as confused as the garniture of a 



royal chimney, or that of a reposoir.* Here, in the hand 
of the Eternal is the celebrated orb of lapis-lazuli, the 
largest piece known in the world, and the silver statue of 
St. Ignatius, nine feet high. A priest, sweeping in the 
inclosure, raises the carpet in order to show me the 
marble incrustations; he passes his hand complacently 
over the lustrous agates, and mournfully alludes to the 
goiden flambeaux carried off during the wars of the 
Revolution ; he is very glad to be attached to such a 
beautiful altar, much preferring it to that of the choir, 
which he regards as too simple. He entreats me to return 
on the following day in order to see with my own eyes the 
silver statue nine feet high ; to-day it is under cover ; c It 
is all silver, monsieur, and nine feet high ! There is 
nothing like it in the world ! ' The peasant, the labourer 
of the seventeenth century, timidly uncovered himself on 
entering the house of so rich a personage. The gentle- 
man, the dandy, found kindred society amidst furniture 
as pompous and as flashy as his own. Besides, he 
encountered ladies in rich attire, and listened to excel- 
lent music. 

All this forms part of a system. You become sensible 
of it on overrunning southern countries. It was already 
familiar to me in Belgium, on the good, peaceable, docile 
Boil recovered by the Duke of Parma ; in the Jesuits' 
church at Antwerp ; in the inner decoration of almost all 
the old cathedrals ; in that famous pulpit of St. Gudule, 
a veritable garden, on which is sculptured foliage, trellises, 
leaves, a peacock, an eagle, all kinds of beasts, the entire 
menagerie of Eden, Adam and Eve decently clothed, and 
the would-be angry angel, but nevertheless smiling. All 
Jesuitical objects thus wear a smiling, concocted aspect, 
awakening ideas of convenience and pleasure : above 
the head of the preacher, for example, is a celestial bed oi 

* An altar erected for ceremonies in the open air. 


clouds similar to an alcove, and, still higher, the Madonna, 
in the shape of a tall graceful young lady with pretty 
dainty arms, ready for a ball. The commentary on this 
system of decoration is the Imago primi sceculi, a splendid 
illustrated work, which serves as the manifest of Jesuitic 
taste. In this the Jesuit appears as nurse rocking the 
divine doll, or again as the Jesuit fisherman hauling up 
souls in a net, while underneath its designs are Latin and 
French verses in true collegiate style, nice little conceits, 
precious wordplay, intellectual recreations, and sweet 
nothings ; in brief, all the sugar plums of devout con- 

If they have manufactured sugar plums it is with 
genius. The proof is that they have reconquered the half 
of Europe, and if they have been successful, it is owing 
to their having discovered one of the leading ideas of 
their age. Catholicism at this time had to wheel about 
in order to save itself, and it was through them that the 
manoeuvre was accomplished. After the universal glorious 
renaissance, in the midst of the industrial pursuits and the 
arts, and the new sciences which sheltered, embellished, 
and expanded human life, the ascetic religion of the 
middle ages could no longer subsist. The world could 
no longer be regarded as a dungeon, man as a worm, and 
nature as a temporary fragile veil, miserably interposed 
between God and the soul, with only glimpses here and 
there through its rents of a supernatural sphere alone 
substantial and subsistent. People began to rely on 
human force, and on reason ; they began to realise the 
stability of natural laws, to enjoy the partial protection 
arising from the establishment of regular monarchies, and 
to relish greedily the prosperity flowing in upon them 
from all sides. Health and energy had revived, and 
Btout muscles, a well-balanced brain, the warm ruddy 
glow of life coursing through the veins repelled the fever 

B 2 


of mysticism, the gloomy visions, the agonies and ecstatic 
transports due to a spare diet and over-excitement ol 
the nervous system. Religion was compelled to ac- 
commodate herself to man's new condition ; she was 
forced to become more moderate, to withdraw or modify 
her maledictions of this earthly sphere, to authorise or 
tolerate natural instincts, to accept openly or indirectly 
the expansion of a temporal life, and no longer to con- 
demn the taste for, and the quest of comfort and wealth. 
She conformed to the times, and north a& well as south, 
amongst Germans as well as amongst Latins, Christianity 
could be seen insensibly approaching this world. The 
Protestant honoured free institutions, useful labour, a 
solemn marriage, family life, the honest accumulation of 
wealth, the modest enjoyment of domestic happiness and 
bodily comfort. 6 Our business,' says Addison ; ' is to 
be easy here, and happy hereafter.' The Jesuit modified 
the formidable doctrine of grace ; he explained away the 
rigid prescriptions of councils and of the Fathers of the 
Church ; he invented peculiar indulgences, an easy system 
of morality, an accommodating casuistry, convenient 
devotional duties, and, through an adroit management of 
distinctions, restrictions, interpretations, probabilities, 
and other theological briars, succeeded with his supple 
hands in setting man free in the realm of pleasure. 
( Amuse yourself, keep young and see me occasionally, 
and tell me what you are doing. Rely upon it. I will 
Bhow you many favours/ 

But in letting one rein go slack another had to be 
tightened. Against unruly instincts, only half-restrained, 
the Protestant erected a barrier in the shape of a tender 
conscience, an appeal to reason, and an orderly laborious 
activity. The Jesuit sought one in a methodical and 
mechanical control of the imagination. This is his 
great stroke of genius. He discovered in human nature 


a deep unknown stratum, the support of all the rest, and 
which, once inclined, communicated its inclination to all 
the others, so that henceforth everything moves along the 
orb it thu5> formed. The spring within us is not reason 
nor reasoning, but 'magery. Sensuous appearances once 
introduced into our brains they shape and repeat them- 
selves, and take root there along with involuntary affinities 
and adhesions, $6 that afterwards, when we act, it is in 
the sense of, and trough the impulsion of forces thus pro- 
duced; our will wtelly springs up, like growing vegeta- 
tion, from invisible feeeds, which an internal fermentation 
causes to germinate without our assistance. Whoever is 
master of the obscure cavern in which this operation takes 
place is master of the im»n; all he has to do is to sow the 
seed, direct the subterranean growth, and the adult plant 
becomes whatever he chooses to make it. It is necessary 
to read their Exercitia Sph\tualia in order to know how, 
without poetry, without philosophy, without employing any 
of the noble impulses of religion, man is got possession 
of. They have a prescription for rendering people 
devout ; they make use of it in their retreats, and its 
effect is certain. 

* The first point/ say these ilever psychologists,* * is 
to construct an imaginary place, that is to say, to figure 
to oneself the synagogues, the hamlets, and the towns 

which Christ visited on his mission Represent to 

yourself as if in a vision of the imagination, a material 
locality, for example, a temple or a mountain, on which 
you observe Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary, and other 

objects relating to meditation The second point is 

to understand interiorly what all these personages say; 
for example, the divine personages conversing together in 
neaven on the redemption of the human race, or ratner 
the Virgin and the angel in a small apartment treating 
* Edition of 1644, pp. 62, SO, 96, 120, 104, 106. 


together of the mystery of the Incarnation If an 

incorporeal object forms the substance of our meditation, 
as, for instance, the consideration of sin, a place may be 
constructed by the imagination in such a way as to enable 
us to contemplate our soul enchained in a prison, in this 
corruptible body, and man himself an exile in the vallej 
of tears among senseless brutes/ Likewise, in order 
seriously to feel the condition of the Christian, it is well 
to conceive two armies, Christ with the saints and angels 
in a vast field near Jerusalem, and Lucifer, ' chief of the 
impious, in another field near Babylon, on a seat of raging 
fire and smoke, horrible in his aspect, and with a terrible 
countenance. After this, it is important to place before 
your eyes this same Lucifer invoking innumerable 
demons and despatching them to do all possible injury to 
the universe, without exempting from their attacks any 
city, any place, or any class of persons.' Every turn of 
the wheel is labelled. If it concerns hell, ' the first 
point is to contemplate through the imagination the vast 
conflagrations of that region, and the souls surrounded 
by material fire as in a dungeon. The second is to hear 
through the imagination the plaints, the sobs, the yells, 
bursting forth against Christ and the saints. The third 
is to inhale through the imagination the smoke, sulphur, 
and stench of a sink of filth and corruption. The fourth 
is to taste through the imagination the most bitter things, 
like tears, sourness, and the gnawing worm of con- 
science. The fifth is to touch these fires, the contact with 
which consumes souls.' Every cog of the wheel grinds 
at every revolution ; first come the images of sight, then 
of hearing, then of smell, then of taste, and then of touch ; 
the repetition and persistency of the shock deepen the im- 
pression. One must thus labour at this five hours a day. 
No diversion is permitted in the intervals of repose. No* 
body is to be seen in the world outside. All conversation 


with the brethren within is interdicted. They must care- 
fully abstain from reading or writing anything irrelevant 
to the day's meditations, and at night they again resume. 
Based upon experience, this treatment produces its effect 
in five weeks. In my opinion, this is too long. I know of 
many who, subjected to such a system, would experience 
hallucinations, in a fortnight, and to the ardent imagina- 
tion of women, children, or shattered and saddened brains, 
ten days is ample. Thus beaten and hammered in, the 
imprint remains indestructible. Let the torrent of passion 
or of worldly joys flow as it will, at the end of twenty or 
thirty years, in periods of anguish and on the approach of 
death, the profound impression over which it will have 
vainly flowed always reappears. 





March 18. — We have to-day visited five or six churches; 
their architecture is often too pretentious, too affected and 
even extravagant, but never vulgar. 

The first is Santa Maria del Popolo, a church of the 
fifteenth century , modernised by Bernini, but still impres- 
sive. Wide arcades in rows separate the great nave from 
the lesser ones, and the effect of these bold curves is 
grave and grand. So many tombs produce a tragical 
impression ; the church is crowded with them ; tw enty 
cardinals have their monuments here. Their statues re- 
pose on stone ; other effigies dream or pray half reclin- 
ing; frequently a bust only is seen, and sometimes a 
death's head above a monumental tablet bearing an in- 
scription; several sepulchres lie beneath the pavement, 
and the feet of the faithful have worn off the relief of the 
figures on the stones that cover them. Death is present 
and palpable everywhere ; under the funereal slab you feel 
that there are bones, the miserable remains of a man, and 
that those cold motionless marble forms reposing eternally 
in a corner of the chapel, with uplifted meagre fingers, art 
all that subsists of the warm palpitating life, which con- 
sumed itself in its own flame before the world to leave 


nothing but this heap of ashes. Our French churches have 
not this funereal pomp. In this marble cemetery, among 
these magnificences and menaces, before these chapels 
as brilliant as agate and decked with crossbones, before 
these statues of imposing saints and these bronze skulls 
inlaid and glittering in the stone, one is bewildered and 
afraid. Our popular theatres catch the people with rich 
decoration and murderous denouements. 

This process is still more apparent among the 
Capuchins of the Piazza Barberini. As we reached this 
square we encountered a passing funeral procession. 
Behind marched a file of monks in white, bearing tapers, 
their black eyes, the only signs of animation about them, 
gleaming beneath their cowls. After these a second file 
followed, composed of Capuchins with grey beards and 
white heads, rolling the beads of their rosaries in their 
fingers and chanting doleful psalmody. We see similar 
characters at the opera, and they excite laughter. Here 
the solemnity of death is overwhelming. 

We entered their convent, which is quite mediocre. 
The long arcade within is tapestried with bad portraits of 
monks, bearing inscriptions in verse on death, and very 
edifying, that is to say, terrifying. It is painful to see 
these poor creatures, almost all of ripe age, without family 
or friends, uselessly devoting their lives to self-extinction. 
On the walls hang printed notices prescribing the prayers 
and stations of holy week that secure plenary indulgence, 
also the duties of lesser efficacy by which ten years of in- 
dulgence are gained for other parties and therefore trans- 
ferable. What can an ordinary monk think of here but 
of laying up a store of pardons ? It is capital for him ; if 
he has friends, a nephew or a god-child, or an old dead 
father, he can present them with his surplus. He is 
simply anxious to employ his time advantageously, to 
select the most productive chapels, to execute as many 


genuflexions and recitations as possible. If he is a good 
manager, and perseveres, he will redeem five or six souls 
besides his own. The great Saint Liguori, the mos£ ac- 
credited theologian of the last century, held to this 
principle : a zealous Christian is almost sure of avoiding 
hell ; but as no one is exempt from sin, it is almost certain 
that nobody will escape purgatory ; accordingly, if a man 
is wise, he will daily add to his capital stock of in- 
dulgences. Suppose that he gains a hundred days 
to-day — and he can do this with a single prayer — he 
will get out of purgatory just three months and ten days 

For lack of other outlets, and through poverty, the 
peasantry have to furnish recruits, and, once becoming 
monks, hoard up indulgences, as a rustic lays up crowns ; 
such an occupation befits their condition, education, and 
intelligence. Besides this, they go outside their convent, 
and for a few sous attend at funerals. As the order has 
preserved somewhat of its ancient popular spirit, they visit 
respectable women and recommend curatives ; they teach 
prayers and make presents of amulets, and, moreover, 
offer pinches of snuff, and furnish the recipe for a certain 
kind of salad. — There are about four thousand monks in 

We went through the church and saw several pictures 
by Guido : a charming ' St. Michael,' with bare legs and 
bootees, an amiable brilliant military page, with the head 
of an amoroso ; by its side, and by way of contrast, is a 
1 St. Francis/ by Domenichino, a wasted, haggard figure. 
In another building is the cell of a celebrated monk ; an 
altar is placed here, to which the Pope comes to say 
mass. All these traces of mediaeval asceticism, this in- 
fantile and barbarian devotion, this mode of exalting and 

* Stato delle Anime dell' alma citta di Roma, 1863 ; in all 6494 eccl* 


debasing man, is distressing. The monk that conducted 
as about the convent is almost a fool, a miserable idiot ; ho 
utters profound sighs, and always repeats himself in a 
shattered voice, and with a vacant stare. Intende poco, 
exclaims the monk that replaces him. 

The latter led us into a subterranean chapel, containing 
a horrible and extraordinary pile of mummies. Five 
years in the ground of this cemetery suffice to dry up a 
body • no other preparation is necessary, and the body 
is then displayed with the rest. Four chambers are 
filled with these skeletons, arranged in groups in a deco- 
rative manner. Thigh-bones, shoulder-blades, arms, and 
the pelvis are fashioned into bouquets, garlands, and 
elegant tapestry. A singular taste and ingenuity have 
regulated the disposition of this furniture : sometimes a 
skull is suspended at the end of a chain of vertebrae* 
which descends from the ceiling, and forms a lamp ; again, 
a couple of arms spread out their joints and knotty 
fingers in the guise of pendants above a mantel-piece : 
hollow thigh bones are arranged one above another like 
rows of pitchers upon a handsome buffet ; while along 
the wall, and over the arch, the radius runs in compli- 
cated designs and pretty capricious arabesques ; here and 
there in a corner numerous thoracic cages bristle with 
white stories of ribs and clavicles. The soil consists oi 
ranges of graves, some full, and others awaiting their oc- 
cupants. The recent dead lie in their cowls, one of whom 
the monk pointed out as his friend, deceased in 1858 ; he 
was a very large man, but the cemetery has so attenuated 
and reduced him that his yellow skin clings to his rigid 
arms and face, and the flesh seems to have melted away 
Our monk added that two of the brethren are now quite 
ill, and that one would probably die that night, and he desig- 
nated the grave already prepared for him. This poor man in 
his grey beard and old swimming eyes, narrated all thig 


quite merrily, laughing as lie spoke ; it is impossible to de« 
scribe the effect of such gaiety in such a place, and on such 
a subject. Each monk, remember, resorts to this chapel 
daily to pray ; imagine the physical gripe of such machi- 
nery on a man, and how it must shape and distort him I 

We required a change of air, and went to Santa Maria 
degli Angeli, near by. It was once the library of the 
Baths of Diocletian. The Romans came here after 
bathing to converse, and to pass away the hot houi'S of 
the day. Michael Angelo converted it into a church, and 
under Benedict XIV., Vanvitelli remodelled the entire 
edifice. For a reading-room or promenade one cannot 
imagine a graver, more airy, and more suitable place. It 
was admirable for thought; the magnificent gigantic 
columns still remaining are worthy to support the noble 
span and ample rotundity of the enormous vault above J 
Always does the same impression recur to you at Rome, 
that of a Christianity badly veneered on ancient pa- 

An honest grey-headed Carthusian led the way to a 
fresco by Domenichino in the choir. This vast painting 
represents the martyrdom of St. Sebastian, and is very 
beautiful; — but look at its effect. The artist evidently 
intended to portray a collection of attitudes ; you see a 
man on horseback, several executioners bending forward 
and backward, another on his knees selecting arrows, a 
woman resting entirely on one leg, as if about to run, and 
another kneeling almost under a horse's feet, all of which 
personages are going to come in collision. Above, are 
angels supporting a crown, soaring and seeming to swim 
along as if they delighted in displaying their limbs. The 
flesh is animated ; some portions of the bodies remind you 
of the Venetian style ; besides this there are several females 
with most expressive physiognomies, and, throughout, a 
kind of joyousness and a lustre diffused over the agitated, 


struggling mass of figures, floating draperies, and 
beautiful, luminous flesh. The total effect is that of a 
grand, rich, studied, successful sentiment of bravery. 
This painting, so worldly, is an accompaniment of the 
Jeiuit restoration. 

The cloister of the Carthusians, behind this, was 
designed by Michael Angelo. In my opinion few objects 
in the world are so grand and so simple ; simplicity, espe- 
cially, so rare in Roman edifices, produces a unique im- 
pression, and one you do not forget. A vast court, 
square and solitary, suddenly discloses itself, framed in by 
white columns supporting an arcade of small arches. 
Overhead the pale red of the tiles gaily glows. There is 
nothing more; on each side for a hundred and thirty 
paces the elegant curves of arches rise and fall 
to meet their slender shafts, which seem never to 
be weary of repeating themselves. A fountain issues 
from the centre, and flows between four cypresses, twelve 
feet in circumference: these rustle eternally with a 
charming sonorous murmur, bringing to the lips a line 
of Theocritus : 

The babbling cypreises are content with thy hymeneal. 

Their murmur is a genuine song, and beneath them as 
gently as they the water sings in its basin of stone. One 
never wearies in contemplating these grey old trunks, their 
bark scored century after century by the superabun- 
dant sap, and ascending abruptly in clusters of branches 
straightened and closely pressed against their sides. This 
black pyramid, of a strong healthy colour, stirs incessantly 
and rises aloft in the light, intersecting the clear azure 
of the sky. The court, planted with lettuce, artichokes, 
and strawberries, smiles with its early verdure, while at 
long intervals, under the arcades, appear the long whit# 
robes of Carthusians, silently passing. 


In order to complete our pleasure our good monk inn 
Bisted on showing us the treasures of the convent, that ia 
to say, the relics deposited in the chapel. This is a sort 
of crypt ; they light little wax torches, and apply the 
burning end close to the glass sashes. At the first 
glance you would imagine yourself in a museum ; every 
piece is labelled, and there are pieces of every part of the 
body. Some of the skeletons are complete, and you s*e 
cartilages, and portions of the skin underneath the 
bandages. In one sash, under the altar, is a mummy of 
Saint Liber ; in front is an infant, found, with its father 
and mother, in the catacombs. Nothing is lost in Rome. 
Here the darkest devotion of the dark ages still exists, 
just as it prevailed in the eleventh century, when King 
Kanute, on visiting Italy, purchased the arm of St. Augus- 
tine for a hundred talents in gold. It began with the 
invasion of the barbarians, and lasted till the time of 
Luther. From this period, under Pius V., Paul IV., 
and Sixtus V., another religion, purified and learned, arose ; 
one which through seminaries, discipline, and restored 
canons, formed the priest as we now know him, such as 
the learned and noble Catholicism of France in the seven- 
tenth century exhibited him, that is to say, regular in 
conduct, correct and decent in deportment, watched and 
watching himself, a sort of moral prefect or sub-prefect, 
the functionary of a grand intellectual administration 
aiding laic governments, and maintaining order in minds 
generally. The difference is enormous between the 
belligerent, epicurean, and pagan popes of the begin- 
ning of the sixteenth century, and the devout, pious, and 
ecclesiastical popes of the end of it ; between Leo X., a 
bon-vivant, ardent huntsman, and amateur of coarse farces, 
surrounded by buffoons, and passionately fond of antique 
fables, and Sixtus V., once a Franciscan monk, who de« 
molished the Septizonium of Septimus Severus, who 


transported an obelisk to the square of St. Peter's in order 
to make it Christian,* and who wished to purge Rome of 
every trace of ancient paganism. 

We returned to Santa Maria della Vittoria in order to 
Bee the ' St. Theresa ' of Bernini. She is adorable. In a 
swoon of ecstatic happiness lies the saint, with pendant 
hands, naked feet, and half-closed eyes, fallen in transports 
of blissful love. Her features are emaciated, but how 
noble ! This is the true, high-born woman, ' wasted by 
fire and tears,' awaiting her beloved. Even to the folds 
of the drapery, even to the languor of her drooping hands, 
even to the sigh that dies on her half-closed lips, nothing 
is there in or about this form that does not. express the 
voluptuous ardour and divine enthusiasm of transport. 
Words cannot render the sentiment of this affecting rap- 
turous attitude. Fallen backward in a swoon her whole 
being dissolves ; the moment of agony has come, and she 
gasps ; this is her last sigh, the emotion is too power- 
ful. Meanwhile an angel arrives, a graceful, amiable 
young page of fourteen, in a light tunic open in front 
below the breast, and as pretty a page as could be de- 
spatched to render an over-fond vassal happy. A semi- 
complacent half-mischievous smile dimples the fresh glow- 
ing cheeks ; the golden dart he holds indicates the ex- 
quisite, and at the same time terrible shock he is about 
to inflict on the lovely impassioned form before him. 
Nobody has ever executed a tenderer and more seductive 
romance. This Bernini, who in St. Peter's seemed to me 
so ridiculous, here conforms to the modern standard of 
sculpture, wholly based on expression ; and to com- 
plete the effect he has arranged the light in a way to 
throw over the pale delicate countenance an illumination 
seeming to be that of an inwaid flame, as if, through 

* See the inscription in which he boasts of his triumph over false god*. 


the transfigured palpitating marble, one saw the spirit glow* 
ing like a lamp, flooded with rapture and felicity. 

The commentary on such a group is to be found in 
contemporary mystic treatises, like the famous c Guida 
Spirituali ' of Molinos, a work reprinted twelve times in 
twenty years, and which in indolent Rome circulated 
from palace to palace, directing souls along the intricate 
pathways of a new spirituality up to a point of love 
without a lover, and then beyond.* Whilst exalted Spain 
consumed itself with its Catholicism like a taper in its 
own flame, and, through its poets and painters, prolonged 
the feverish excitement with which St. Ignatius and St. 
Theresa burned, sensual Italy, stripping off the thorns of 
devotion, breathed it as a full-blown rose, and, in the 
pretty saints of its Guido, in the seductive Magdalens of its 
Guercino, and in the graceful rotundities and glowing car- 
nality of the later masters, accommodated religion to the 
voluptuous softness characteristic of its sonnets and society. 
€ There are six degrees of contemplation,' said Molinos, 
c and these are: fire, unction, exaltation, illumination, taste, 
and repose. . . . Unction is a sweet spiritual fluid which, 
in circulating through the soul, instructs and fortifies it. 

. . . Taste is a savoury relish of the divine presence. 

. . . Repose is a pleasing, wonderful state of tranquillity 
in which so great is the felicity and power of peace that 
the soul seems to have sunk into a gentle sleep, as if she 
were abandoned to, and rested on, the loving divine 
boscm. .' There are many degrees of contemplation 
beside these, sush as ecstacy, transports, melting, swoon- 
ing, triumph, kissing, embraces, exaltation, union, trans* 
formation, betrothal, marriage. f He professed all thia 

* See Articles 41 and 42 in his interrogatory: 'In such cases, and 
others which otherwise would be culpable, there is no sin, because there if 
fit consent/ 

t Guida Spirituali. 


and put it into practice. In this corrupt, enfeebled 
society, where the mind, unoccupied with serious things, 
devoted itself wholly to intrigues and ostentation, the 
passionate and imaginative part of it could find no outlet 
but in sentimental and gallant conversation. From 
terrestrial love, when remorse came, they passed over to 
celestial love, and, in the natural course of things with 
such a doctrine, experience showed them that between 
the lover and the director nothing was changed. 

I have lately read the c Adone ' of Marini ; in this 
poem, the most popular of this age, one sees more clearly 
than elsewhere the great transformation of sentiments, 
manners, and arts which already appeared in the Armida 
and Aminta of Tasso. What a contrast, on recurring to 
the tragic Leda of Michael Angelo ! How graceful and 
effeminate everything has become ! How rapid the de- 
scent to the level of dainty insipidity ! How readily is 
the standard of sigisbes accepted ! This poem of twenty 
cantos seems to have been composed expressly for some 
fine youth to lisp in the ears of an indolent lady, under 
the colonnade of a marble villa, on warm summer evenings, 
with rustling jets of water murmuring around them, and 
in an atmosphere of the perfume of flowers made languid 
by the heat of the day. Its theme is love, and, for ten 
thousand lines, it discourses of nothing else. Magnificent 
gallant fetes and allegorical gardens, the engaging and 
inexhaustible story of love's adventures, blend together in 
their brains like the too powerful odours of innumerable 
roses amassed around them in their copses and bouquets. 
The heart is drowned in the universal sea of voluptuous- 
ness. What better can they do, and what remains for 
them to do ? Virile energy has disappeared ; under the 
petty tyranny which interdicts all activity of mind and 
body, man has become effeminate ; he no longer has any 
will, and only thinks of enjoying himself. At a woman'* 



knees he forgets everything else; a flowing, trailing 
robe is all that his imagination requires. His reward ia 
the loss of all manliness and nobleness. Because love is 
his sole aspiration, he no longer knows how to love ; he 
is at once whining and gross, incapable of anything but 
licentious description or mawkish devotion ; he is a mere 
closet gallant and a boudoir domestic. Degenerate senti- 
ment is accompanied with degenerate expression. He 
spins out his ideas and loads them with affectations ; he 
abounds in exaggeration and concetti, and thus fashions 
for himself a jargon with which he prattles. As a climax 
to all this he is hypocritical ; he places a learned explana- 
tion at the head of the most venturesome cantos, in order 
to prove his indecencies moral, and to disarm ecclesiastical 
censure, of which he stands in fear. Profane love or 
sacred love, all falls to the same level with this century, 
and in Bernini, as in Marini, a mannered immodest grace 
shows the debasement of man when excluded from healthy 
activity and reduced to a worship of the senses. 

We finished the day in the Quirinal gardens arranged 
by a pope of this period, Urban VIII. They are situated 
on a hill and descend in terraces to the bottom of its de- 
clivity. We seemed to be promenading through one of 
Perelle's landscapes ; tall hedges, cypresses shaped like 
vases, and flower-beds bordered with box, form various 
designs, colonnades, and statues. This garden has the 
cold, formal, grave precision of the century, such as with 
the establishment of stable monarchies and a decent ad- 
ministration was diffused throughout the arts of Europe. 
A.t this epoch the church, like royalty, is an uncontested 
power, and displays itself to the eyes of its subjects in a 
dignified, grave, and proper manner. 

But these gardens, thus understood, are much better 
adapted to Italy +han to France. These sculptured 
hedges of laurel and of box endure the winter, whilt 


in summer they afford protection from the sun. The 
ilex that never loses its verdure provides a dense shade 
at all times, and walls of perennial shrubbery arrest the 
winds. The fountains everywhere constantly flowing 
attract the eye, and preserve the freshness of the avenues. 
From the balustrades you have a view of the entire city, 
including St. Peter's and the Janiculum, with its waving, 
sinuous line in the glow of the evening sky. For a pope 
and ecclesiastical dignitaries, all aged, and who promenade 
m their robes, these formal alleys and this monumental 
decoration are most appropriate. In the spring it is 
pleasant to pass an hour here in the warm sunshine, 
under the grand arcade of the crystal firmament above 
the pathways ; and then to descend the broad steps, or the 
gentle declivities, to the central basin in which fifty jets 
of water spring from its borders and mingle their blue 
6treams together. Near by is a rotunda filled with 
mosaics, offering the shade and coolness of its vault. 
These sounds, this agitated water, these statuettes, this 
grand horizon in front of this summer saloon, furnish so 
many distractions to the mind, and give the wearied spirit 
rest. One day a group is added, and on another day a 
clump of trees is renewed or planted; the pleasure of 
building is the only one left to a prince, and especially to 
an aged one wearied and worn with ceremony. 




March 20. — My friends urge me to be more indifferent, 
to enjoy* things as they are, to care nothing about their 
origin, and to let history alone. To-day, let it be so ; they 
are right, but because it is fine weather. 

On such days one strolls through the streets carelessly, 
and enjoys the lovely blue sky above him. There is not 
a cloud to be seen. The sun shines triumphantly, and 
the immaculate blue dome, radiant withmorning splendour, 
seems to restore to the old city its days of pomp and 
pageantry. Walls and roofs define themselves with extra* 
ordinary force in the limpid atmosphere. As far as the 
eye can reach the arcade of the sky appears between the 
two files of houses. You advance indifferently and find 
at every turn entirely new opera scenery : — some vast 
massive palace, propped up against its rustic corners ; — a 
street descending and rising towards a distant obelisk, and 
which in the broad sunshine envelopes its personages, as a 
picture would do, in alternate light and shadow ; — some 
old dismantled palace converted into a warehouse, with 
red dragons sleeping against a grey wall and Italian pinea 
and white almond trees flourishing on a knoll by its side ;— 
some square with a large bubbling fountain and churches 
on the left, florid and pretentious like wealthy brides, smil- 
ing in the glittering azure, and with a promenade crossing 


it, the trees of which are beginning to bloom ; — beyond 
an interminable solitary street, extending between the 
walls of a convent, or those of some invisible villa ; on 
the ridges pendant flowers ; here and there escutcheons, 
cracked by invasion. i of gilliflowers and mosses, the whole 
street partitioned into a black shadow and a dazzling 
light ; in the distance the transparent atmosphere, and the 
monumental gate of the Porta Pia, from which you see 
the grey campagna, and on the horizon the snow on the 
crests of the mountains. 

On our return we followed this street which ascends 
and descends, bordered with palaces and old hedges of 
thorn, as far as Santa Maria Maggiore. This basilica, 
standing upon a large eminence, surmounted with its 
domes, rises nobly upwards, at once simple and complete, 
and when you enter it, it affords still greater pleasure. It 
belongs to the fifth century ; on being rebuilt at a later 
period, the general plan, its antique idea, was preserved. 
An ample nave, with a horizontal roof, is sustained by 
two rows of white Ionic columns. You are rejoiced to 
see so fine an effect obtained by such simple means ; you 
might almost imagine yourself in a G reek temple. It is 
said that a temple of Juno was robbed of these columns. 
Each of them bare and polished, with no other ornament 
than the delicate curves of its small capital, is of healthful 
and charming beauty. You appreciate here the good 
sense, and all that is agreeable in genuine natural con* 
struction, the file of trunks of trees which bear the 
beams, resting flat and providing a long walk. All that 
has since been added is barbarous, and first, the two chapela 
of Sixtus V. and Paul V., with their paintings by Guido, 
Josepin, and Cigoli, and the sculptures of Bernini, and tho 
architecture of Pontana and Flaminio. These are cele- 
brated names, and money has been prodigally spent, but 
instead of the slight means with which the ancients pro* 


duced a great effect, the moderns produce a petty effect 
with great means. When the bewildered eye is satiated 
with the elaborate sweep of these arches and domes, with 
the splendours of polychromatic marbles, with friezes and 
pedestals of agate, with columns of oriental jasper, with 
angels hanging by their feet, and with all these bas-relieffl 
of bronze and gold, the visitor hastens to get away from 
it as he would to escape from a confectioner's shop. It 
eeems as if this grand glittering box, gilded and laboured 
from pavement to lantern, caught up and tore at every 
point of its finery the delicate web of poetic revery ; tho 
slender profile of the least of the columns, impresses one 
far more than any of this display of the art of upholdsterer3 
and parvenus. — Similarly to this the facade, loaded with 
balustrades, and round and angular pediments, and statues 
roosting on its stones, is a hutcl-de-ville frontage. The 
campanile, belonging to the fourteenth century, alone 
presents an agreeable object ; at that time it was one of 
the towers of the city, a distinctive sign which marked it 
on the old plans so black and sharp, and stamped it for ever 
on the still corporeal imaginations of monks and wayfarers. 
There are traces of every age in these old basilicas ; you 
see the diverse states of Christianity, at first enshrined in 
pagan forms, and then traversing the middle ages and the 
renaissance to muffle itself up finally, and bedeck itself 
with modern finery. The Byzantine epoch has left its 
imprint in the mosaics of the great nave and the apsis, 
and in its bloodless and lifeless Christs and Virgins, so 
many staring spectres motionless on their gold back- 
grounds and red panels, the phantoms of an extinct art 
and a vanished society. 

Quite near is the church of San Giovanni in Laterano, 
Btill more corrupt. The ceiling remains horizontal, but 
the antique columns have disappeared to give place to 
arcades and pilasters. Bernini has set up here twelve 


colossal statues of the apostles, a jovial set in white 
marble, each in a green marble niche, and capering in the 
poses of bullies and studio models. Their agitated 
drapery and affected gestures seem to appeal to the public, 
as much as to say, ' See, is not that remarkable? ' Here 
is the wretched taste of the seventeenth century, neither 
pagan nor Christian, or rather both, the one spoiling the 
other. Add to it the gilding of the ceiling, the festoons 
and rosaces of the porch, and the agreeable chapels ; one, 
that of the Torlonia, quite new, is a charming marble 
boudoir in which to enjoy a cool atmosphere ; white and 
embroidered with gold, it has a pretty panelled cupola, 
and is decked with elegant statues, very clean, very 
sentimental, very insipid, very much like fashionable 
dolls. Close by its side opens the chapel of Clement XII., 
ampler and more sumptuous; here, at least, the faces of 
the women have some intellectual traits, some reflection, 
some finesse ; they are ladies of the eighteenth century, 
familiar with society, capable of maintaining their rank, 
and not the respectable would-be-interesting types of the 
* keepsake ' class. But the two chapels are merely 
parlours, one for furbelows and the other for crinoline. 
By way of contrast, and as complements to these, we 
were shown the grand altar in which the heads of 
St. Peter and St. Paul are enshrined. ' On this very 
altar,' said a young priest to us, ' St. Peter said mass.' A 
little before this, on passing, I entered the church of 
Santa Pudentiana, and saw the margin of a well in which 
the saint had collected the blood of more than three 
thousand martyrs. 

Near St. John Lateran is a chapel containing three 
staircases. One of them came from the house of Pontius 
Pilate ; it is covered with wood, and the devout ascend 
it on their knees. I have just seen these people stumbling, 
staggering, and clambering up ; it takes half an hour thus 


to hoist themselves to the top, clinging to its steps and 
walls with their hands the better to become impregnated 
with the sanctity of the place. It is worth while to see 
their earnestness, their large fixed eyes. One peasant 
especially, in a vest, ragged blue trowsers and hob- 
nailed shoes, as rude and clumsy as any of his beasts, 
made the boards ring in knocking his knees against them, 
and where the marble was visible, he kissed and rekissed 
the place. At the top is an image under a grating between 
tapers, which grating is kissed incessantly. A placard 
affixed to it displays a prayer of about twenty words ; 
whoever recites this obtains an indulgence of a hundred 
days. The placard recommends the faithful to commit the 
prayer to memory in order to recite it as often as possi- 
ble, and thus augment their stock of indulgences. One 
would imagine himself in a Buddhist country ; there is 
gilding for the better and relics for the poorer classes — 
such is the comprehension of worship in Italy for the last 
two hundred years. 

All these ideas vanish, when from the entrance you con- 
template the majestic amplitude of the great nave, quite 
white beneath the gold of its arch. The sun, as it declines, 
streams through the windows and pours upon the pave- 
ment a cataract of light. The apsis, furrowed with ancient 
mosaics, mingles its curves of purple and gold with the 
dazzling splendours of rays launched forth like flaming 
darts. You advance and suddenly from the peristyle 
the admirable piazza spreads out before you. Nothing in 
Rome is equal to it; you could not imagine a simpler 
spectacle, one more grave and beautiful : at first, the 
sloping square vast and deserted ; beyond, an esplanade 
with its growing grass, then, a long green avenue with 
files of leafless trees stretching away in the distance, and 
nt the extremity, relieving on the &ky, the great basilica 
of Santa Croce with its tile roof and brown campanile* 


No idea can be formed of an expanse so broad, so full of 
interest, of a solitude so calm and so noble. The land- 
scapes that frame it in on either side ennoble it still more : 
on the left, red masses of ruined arcades, and dismantled 
groves, form the shattered enclosure of the ancient 
wall of Belisarius ; on the right, the wide campagna de- 
velopes itself, with an open arcade in its midst, and in 
the distance, the blue striated mountains mottled with 
broad shadows and spotted with villages. The luminou 
atmosphere envelopes all these grand forms ; the blue 01 
the sky is of a divine softness and brilliancy, the clouds 
float peacefully like swans, and on all sides, between 
ruddy bricks and disjointed embrasures, in the midst of 
a network of cultivation, you see clusters of tall green 
oaks, cypresses, and pines illuminated by the declining 

I remained an hour on the steps of the triclinium, a 
kind of isolated apsis bordering the square ; growing vege- 
tation is undermining the steps, and lizards issue from holes 
and bask in the sunshine on the marble. All is silent • 
now and then a cart and a few asses traverse the deserted 
pavement. If there is a spot in the world calculated to 
calm weary spirits, and soothe them, and insensibly lull 
them into forgetfulness with noble and melancholy dreams, 
it is here. The spring has come : the mild light of a ver- 
nal sunshine rests on the stone slabs ; the sun beams with 
indescribable grace, imparting to the balmy atmosphere 
its genial beneficence. Blossoms are bursting their enve- 
lopes, and these grand stone structures consigned to a 
neglected corner of Rome, seem, like exiles, to have ac- 
quired in solitude a harmonious serenity that attenuates 
their defects and augments their dignity. At the first 
glance the fa9ade dissatisfies ; its arcades, divided in the 
middle like high rooms to form a second story, its stacka 
f columns, its balustrades burdened with saints in com- 


motion and parading themselves like actors at a finale,— 
its entire decoration seems an exaggeration. An hour aftei 
and the eye becomes accustomed to it ; you yield gradually 
to the impressions of prosperity and beauty which all 
things reveal; you find the church solid and rich, you 
imagine the Pontifical processions that on appointed days 
have passed under its roof, and you liken it to some trium- 
phal arch erected to give a fitting reception to the spiri- 
tual Caesar the successor of the Csesars of Rome. 

The streets. San Andrea della Valle, Santa Maria in 
Trastevere. Rome has three hundred and forty churches, 
you do not require me to visit all. 

What is better, I think, is to enter a church whenever 
you find one accidentally, just as the fancy takes you ; 
Santa Maria sopra Minerva, for instance : to hear the 
music rolling through its solitary nave 5 and to see a flood 
of light streaming in through the violet window-panes ; — 
Santa Trinita del Monte, to see the ' Descent from the 
Cross,' by Daniele da Volterra, so dilapidated ; and espe- 
cially to obtain a glimpse of the courts of this nunnery, 
so like a strong walled fortress, and so silent above the 
tumult of the Piazza di Spagna. — You go out with a quan- 
tity of half-ideas, or beginnings of ideas, in your mind, 
confused together and entangled, but secretly developing 
themselves ; this busy swarm labours within like a batch 
of weaving silkworms, the web meanwhile growing con- 
stantly, until finally it ends unawares, and receives into its 
meshes all current events and casual encounters, a detail 
that at first passed unnoticed, but which now has got to 
be of interest. From this time these objects all harmo- 
nise, fitting in one with the other and forming a complete 
whole ; there is nothing that does not find a place, for ex- 
ample, to-day under this band of azure and soft silky light 
stretched like a dais above the streets, the venerable grey 
Btains of mud spotting the fronts of the houses ; these worn 


rounded corners, these rusty bars in which generations of 
6piders have inherited ancestral cobwebs ; these dark cor* 
ridors, their dust disturbed by the wind; these door- 
knockers with their paint scaled off and the iron plate that 
received their blows worn through in the service ; these 
frying pans fretting with black grease at the foot of a 
leprous column ; these donkey drivers entering the Bar- 
berini square with their animals loaded with wood, and 
especially the campagnards dressed in blue wool, clumsy 
shoes, and leather leggings, silently grouped together in 
front of the Pantheon like wild animals half frightened at 
the novelty of the city around them. They do not look 
stupid, these people, like our peasants; they rather resem- 
ble wolves and badgers imprisoned in traps. Many of 
the heads among them have regular, strong features, 
affording a striking contrast with those of the French 
soldiers, who have a more pleasing and a gentler aspect. 
One of these peasants with long black hair, and pale dig- 
nified face resembles the ' Suonatore,' of Eaphael ; his 
sandals attached to his feet by leather thongs are the 
same as those of antique statues. His old grey shapeless 
hat is decorated with a peacock's feather, and he sits en- 
camped like an emperor against a post that supports a 
receptacle for street ordure. Among the women, ogling 
and displaying themselves at their windows, you distin- 
guish two types : one the energetic head with square 
chin and face resting firmly on its base, intense black 
eyes, prominent nose, jutting forehead, short neck and 
broad shoulders ; and the other the cameo head, deli- 
cate and amorous, with well-shaped, well-drawn eyes 
and brow, the features spirituelle and clearly defined, and 
inclining to an expression of affection and gentleness. 

The lottery offices are full, and you read the numbers 
posted up in the windows. This is what most absorbs 
the attention of these people. They are always calcula- 


ting and pondering over winning numbers, and speculating 
on chances based on age and day of the month, on the 
forms of numerals, on presentiments, on neuvaines of the 
saints and the Madonna ; the imaginative brain is always 
at work, building up dream upon dream, and suddenly 
overflowing on the side of either fear or hope ; they fall 
on their knees, and this spasm of desire or fear constitutes 
their religion. 

This mode of feeling is of ancient date. We had just 
entered San Andrea della Valle in order to see the works 
of Lanfranco, and especially the four evangelists by 
Domenichino. They are very fine things but wholly 
pagan, and appeal only to a love of the picturesque. St. 
Andrea is an ancient Hercules. Around the evangelists 
are grouped a number of superb allegorical figures of 
women, one with bare limbs and breast raising her arms 
to heaven, and another with a casque bending forward 
with an air of the proudest arrogance. By the side of St. 
Mark frolicsome children play with an enormous lion, and 
from below, among the grand folds of raised drapery, you 
see amidst foreshortenings the naked thighs of angels. The 
spectator could have certainly sought for nothing there 
but vigorous, active, and powerful bodies capable of 
exciting the sympathy of a gesticulating athlete. He 
was not offended ; on the contrary, his saint was repre- 
sented as strong and as proud as possible, just as he him- 
self figured him. If you had a prince beyond the seas, 
whom you had never seen, but who through some marvel- 
lous agency could either kill or enrich you as he pleased, 
these are the traits in which your imagination would 
figure him. 

I have not much to tell you of Santa Maria in Tras- 
tevere, nor of other churches ; I could do no more than 
repeat impressions already recorded. A double row of 
columns taken from an antique temple, a ceiling over* 


eharged with gold bosses and mouldings, an € Assump- 
tion ' by Guido placed too high, a round apsis with rigid 
old figures relieving on a gold background, statues of 
the dead solemnly reposing on their tombs in eternal 
sleep, this is Santa Maria in Trastevere. — Every 
church however, possesses distinct character or some 
striking detail. In San Pietro in Montorio, there is a 
1 Scourging,' by Sebastian del Penubo. The sculptural 
attitude, the vigorous forms, the strained and contorted 
muscles, of the patient and his executioners, call to mind 
Michael Angelo, who was the artist's counsellor and often- 
times his master. — In San Clemente, a buried church re- 
cently disinterred, and among columns of verd antique, 
you see paintings, by the light of a torch, that pass for 
the most ancient in Rome, hard, pitiful Byzantine figures, 
and among them a Virgin whose breast falls like the milk 
bag of an animal. — In San Francesco a Ripa, is a decora- 
tion of gilding and marble, the richest and most extrava- 
gant possible, constructed in the last century by corpora- 
tions of cobblers, fruiterers, and millers, each division 
bearing the name of that which furnished the means. 
There is thus in almost every street some curious his- 
torical fragment. What is no less striking is the contrast 
between a church itself and its vicinity. On leaving 
San Francesco a Ripa you stop your nose, so strong 
is the odour of codfish ; the yellow Tiber rolls along, 
between remnants of piles near large mournful edifices 
and before silent lugubrious streets. On returning from 
San Pietro in Montorio I found an indescribable quarter : 
horrible streets and filthy lanes; steep ascents bordered with 
hovels, and slimy corridors crowded with crawling human 
beings ; old women, yellow and leaden visaged, sternly re- 
garding you with their witch eyes; children huddled 
together in full security like dogs, and shamelessly imita- 
ting them on the pavement ; ragged vagabonds in red 


tatters, smoking and leaning against the walls, and a dirty 
swarming crowd hurrying on to the cook-shops. From 
top to bottom of this street the gutters stream with 
kitchen refuse, dyeing the sharp stones with its foul 
blackness. At the foot of the street is the Ponte San 
Sisto ; there are no quays on the Tiber, and these swel- 
tering sinks dip their surcharged steps into it like so 
many dripping towels washed in mire. Gilding and j 
hovels, morals and physiognomies, government and faith, 
present and past, all amalgamate, and a moment's thought 
suffices to show their mutual dependence. 





I have recorded for you about all that I could myself 
observe, that is to say, of the external world ; as to the 
internal world, meaning by this, manners, morals, and 
character, you know that at the end of a month I could 
not say much on my own responsibility ; but I am favoured 
with friends of various classes and opinions, all of whom 
are obliging and many of excellent judgment. I shall 
give you a summary of fifty or sixty conversations and 
searching discussions, without reservation. 

In this city overflowing with works of art, there are 
very few artists. Thirty years ago there was Signor 
Camuccini, and a few cold imitators of David ; now the | 
standard is one of graceful insipidity ; the sculptors polish 
marble perfectly in order to please the wealthy of other 
lands : that is their forte, and they go but little beyond 
it ; most of them are purely mechanical copyists. The 
public in general has fallen quite as low ; the Romans 
appreciate their masterpieces only through the admiration 
of strangers. And because a true culture is prohibited 
to them. It is impossible to travel without the Pope'a 
passport, and the passport is often refused, A certain 


Italian artist could not obtain one to visit Paris, c Go, 
if you please/ was the reply ; ' but if you do you cannot 
return.' Fears are entertained of their bringing back 
liberal maxims. 

According to the report of strangers, physicians pre- 
scribe nothing but enemas, and the lawyers are professors 
of chicanery. Everybody is restricted to his speciality. 
The police, who let people do as they please, allow no 
one to concern himself with the sciences trenching on 
religion or politics. A man who studies or reads much, 
even in his own house, and with closed doors, is watched ; 
he is annoyed constantly, and exposed to domiciliary 
visits in search of forbidden books, and accused of pos- 
sessing obscene engravings. He is subject to the precetto, 
that is to say, to the obligation of returning to his home 
by the Ave Maria, and of not leaving it after sunset. 
Once failing to do so, and he is imprisoned; a foreign 
diplomate mentioned to me one of his friends to whom 
this happened. — They speak at Rome of a mathematician 
and one or two antiquarians ; but in general, the savants 
here are either annoyed or despised. If anybody possesses 
erudite tastes, he conceals them, or apologises for them, 
always alluding to them as mania. Ignorance is welcome, 
for it renders people docile. 

As to the professors, the best, those of the university, 
receive three or four hundred crowns a year, and give 
five lectures per week, which shows the high estimation 
in which science is held. In order to exist some resort 
to medical practice, others become architects, others 
clerks, and others librarians ; several who are priests, are 
paid for masses, and all live with the utmost plainness. I 
counted on the almanack forty-seven professorships 
there are five hundred pupils in the university, about 
ten to each chair. The Pope has just authorised a course 
on geology, which has an audience of four, no more ar« 


in attendance on the course on profane history. As an 
offset to this the courses on theology are quite numerous. 
This shows the spirit of the institution ; the sciences of 
the middle ages flourish here, while modern sciences 
remain outside the door. There are but two public 
schools in Rome, the Roman Seminary, under the direc- 
tion of the cardinal-vicar, for the formation of priests, and 
the Roman College, in the hands of the Jesuits, in which 
Latin and Greek are studied; no Italian nor French, nor 
any other living language, and no history excepting 
Roman history, back to the time of Constantine. So in- 
significant are the studies, that when a pupil wishes to 
enter the congregation, he is obliged, even if the most 
advanced, to recommence his studies from the first prin- 
ciples. In the medical school there is no clinique on 
midwifery ; instruction in this branch is derived from pic- 
tures representing the organs, which pictures are covered 
with curtains ; a notorious ignoramus has just been in- 
stalled professor here through female intrigue. The rest 
is in keeping. The professors, said a genuine physician 
to me, are mere village barbers ; a few only have passed 
one or two weeks at Paris, and practise a treatment in the 
hospitals a century behind the age. In the asylum for 
cutaneous diseases, the patients are subjected to incisions 
in the head; when the wound is cicatrised they are 
arranged in rows, and a brush soaked in a certain mixture 
s passed over their heads, the same brush answering for 
all, and perhaps so employed for years. You may judge 
by the foregoing of the dignity and importance of the 
liberal professions. 

Is there in Rome any degree of moral energy ? Most 
of my friends reply, no; the government has demoralised 
men. People are extraordinarily intelligent, adroit, and 
calculating, but no less egotistical ; not one, or scarcely 
one, would risk his life or his fortune for his country. 



They declaim, and are willing to have others take the 
lead, but will not subject themselves to the smallest sacri- 
fice. They regard one who thus devotes himself as a 
dupe ; they smile ironically on seeing the excitement of a 
Frenchman who, to the cry of country or glory, rushes 
off to get his bones broken. 

They do not surrender themselves, but accommodate 
themselves to you; they are infinitely polite and patient, 
never even faintly smiling at the barbarisms and gro- 
tesque errors of pronunciation which a stranger always 
commits. They remain their own masters, unwilling to 
compromise themselves, and are only concerned in keeping 
out of scrapes, in turning others to account, and in duping 
each other. Delicacy, as we understand it, is unknown 
to them ; an antiquary of reputation readily accepts com- 
missions from merchants on all objects the sale of which 
he procures ; and there are a number of usurers among 
the wealthy and the great. 

Everybody here has a protector; it is impossible to 
live without one. You must have one to obtain the most 
trifling thing, to obtain justice, to receive your income, 
to preserve your property. Everything goes by favour. 
Keep a pretty, complacent woman in your employ, or in 
>our family, and you will come out of all difficulties as 
pure as snow. One of my friends compares this country 
to the Orient, where he has travelled, with this difference, 
that it is not force here, but address which succeeds, the 
clever protected man obtaining all. Life is a league and 
a combat, but subterranean. Under a government of 
priests there is a horror of making a display ; there is no 
brutal energy : one mines and countermines as skilfully 
as he can, and lays traps ten years in advance. 

As enterprise and action are prejudicial and regarded 
unfavourably, indolence becomes honourable. Innumer- 
able people live in Rome nobody knows how, without 


either occupation or revenue. Some earn ten crowns a 
inoaia and expend thirty ; apart from any visible pursuit 
they tiave all sorts of resources and expedients. In the 
first p\ace the government expends two or three hundred 
thousand crowns in alms, and every noble or prince 
deems cWity a duty on account of his rank, and tradi- 
tionally. Guch a one gives away six thousand crowns a 
year. Ag*ui there are buona mancia everywhere ; cer- 
tain people present fifteen petitions a day, one or two of 
which are successful ; the petitioner eats a good dinner 
in the evening, and thus always has an occupation. 
This occupation has its instruments; you see public 
scriveners in the open air, with hats on their heads, and 
umbrellas by their sides, engaged in writing these petitions 
and holding their papers fast with stones. Finally, in 
this state of universal misery all help each other ; a beggar 
is not an outcast, nor a criminal ; he is honest, as honest 
as anybody, only he happens to have been unfortunate ; 
with this reflection, the poorest bestow on him a few 
baiocchi. Thus is sloth maintained. Among the moun- 
tains, near Frascati, I found at every pasturage a man 
or child ready to open a gate ; at the church doors some 
poor mortal is always there to lift up for you the leather 
curtain suspended before the door. In this way they 
obtain five or six cents a day, and on this they live. 

I know a custode who gets six crowns a month ; besides 
which he occasionally repairs an old coat, and receives for 
this three or four baiocchi more ; his family is half starving, 
and he is sometimes obliged to borrow a couple of pauls 
(twenty cents) of a neighbour in order to live the week 
out. And yet his son and daughter take their promenade 
every Sunday in very good clothes. The girl is honest 
because she is not yet married ; once the husband is 
caught it will be another matter; she must naturally 
provide for her toilette and aid her husband. Counties* 

T 2 


households are thus maintained on the beauty of the wife. 
The husband shuts his eyes and sometimes opens them, 
but in the latter case, simply the better to fill his pockets. 
Shame does not incommode him ; the people of the mezzo 
ceto are so poor, that when children come, a man is to be 
pitied, and he suffers so much unless fortified by a rich 
protector. ' My wife wants dresses ; let her earn them !' 
Besides this the general influence of the government is 
debasing ; man is forced into indignities; he is accustomed 
to crouching, to kissing the hands of ecclesiastics, to self- 
humiliation ; from generation to generation self-respect, 
resistance, and manliness,have been extirpated as noxious 
weeds ; the possessor of such qualities is trodden down, 
and their seed is at length lost. A type of such charac- 
ters is the cassandrino of the ancient marionnettes ; he is 
a crushed-out layman whose interior springs of action 
are broken, who jests at everything, even at himself, and 
who, stopped by brigands, lets them despoil him, and 
facetiously addresses them as € huntsmen.' This bitter 
humour and voluntary harlequinism aid in rendering 
him insensible to the ills of life. This character is quite 
common; the husband, resigned and dishonoured, con* 
tentedly yields to his wife's good fortune. With his mind 
at ease he takes his promenade, sips his coffee at three 
cents a cup, speculates on the weather, and enjoys the 
display of a new coat on the public thoroughfares. The 
Romans, both male and female, put on their backs all the 
money they earn, and all that is given to them. Their 
food is poor in quantity and in quality, consisting of 
crusts, cheese, cabbage, and salads. They have no £re 
in winter, and their furniture is miserable, everything 
being sacrificed to appearances. The streets and the 
Pincio swarm with women in handsome velvet mantillas, 
and young people well gloved and frizzled, bright, showy, 
and spruce outside — but do not look beyond. 


Alongside of indolence ignorance flourishes like thistles 
by the side of nettles. One of our friends has resided 
some time in the environs of Lake Nemi ; it was impossi- 
ble, after noon, to obtain a letter, because the doctor, cure, 
and apothecary chose that hour for their promenades, 
and no one in the village but them knew how to read 
It is about the same thing at Rome. I am told of a 
noble family who live in two and let five rooms ; from 
this they derive their income. Out of four daughters 
one only is able to write a note, and she is calleci the 
learned (la dotta). The father and son frequent a cafe, 
drink a glass of pure water, and read a newspaper :— such 
is their life. The young man has no future ; fortunate is 
he if he can obtain a place in the datarie, or elsewhere, 
at six crowns a month. There is no commerce, no man- 
ufactures, no army. A good many become priests and 
monks and support themselves on their masses ; they 
dare not seek their fortunes outside their country, the 
police closing and locking the door on all who go out. 

Houses, accordingly, are mere kennels. The young 
ladies in question remain in slatternly morning-gowns, 
bundled up like kitchen drudges, until four in the after- 
noon. I knew of one domestic establishment where, for a 
long time, I supposed the ladies to be women employed 
to darn stockings; I found them engaged in clean- 
ing boots. Confusion, foul linen and broken crockery 
strewed about on the tables and on the floor was all ; 
a lot of children ate in the kitchen. One Sunday I 
noticed them out of doors in their hats and appearing 
like ladies, and I learn that their brother is a lawyer; 
this brother makes his appearance and he is dressed 
like a gentleman. 

I inquire how these young people pass their time, and 
the reply is — doing nothing ; the great aim in this country 
is to do as little as possible. A young Roman may be 
compared to a man enjoying his siesta ; he is inert, dis- 


likes effort, and would be angry if disturbed or forced tc 
undertake anything. When he leaves his office he puts 
on his best clothes and posts himself beneath a certain 
window, which he does every afternoon. From time to 
time the wife or young girl raises a corner of the curtain, 
so as to show him that she knows he is there. This 
occupies the thoughts of all, which is not surprising as the 
siesta predisposes towards love. Men promenade the 
Corso constantly; they follow women and know their 
names and diminutives, their lovers and the past and 
present of all their intrigues, and thus live, their heads 
filled with gossip. Accordingly, thus occupied, their 
minds become acute and penetrating. Amongst themselves 
they are polite, affable, and complimentary, but always on 
their guard, dissembling, and engaged in supplanting each 
other and playing each other tricks. 

In the middle class there are evening parties but of a 
singular character. Lovers watch one another from one 
end of the room to the other ; it is impossible to hold a 
conversation with a young lady, her lover having forbid- 
den it. Their beverage is water without sugar. Every- 
body is busy with his own thoughts or observing his 
neighbour's movements. Occasionally, they emerge from 
this meditative mood in order to listen to a little music. 
Amongst the inferior portion of this class nothing is 
served, not even a glass of water. There is a piano and, 
generally, some one sings. There is no fire in winter ; 
the ladies form a circle and retain their muffs; those 
highest in favour are honoured with hand-warmers. This 
suffices — people are not very hard to please. 

Young ladies are kept shut up, and, consequently, 
are always trying to get out. Lately, as the story 
goes, one of them succeeded in escaping in the evening to 
a rendezvous and she caught cold and died ; her young 
friends made a sort of demonstration and thronged to kiss 


the body ; they regarded her as a martyr, dead in behalf 
of the ideal Their life consists in quietly boasting of 
their lovers, that is to say, of some young man who is 
thinking about them, who courts them, who stations him- 
self under their window, and so on. This tickles their 
imagination and supplies the place of a romance , instead 
of reading novels they act them. In this way they 
undergo five or six love experiences before marriage. As 
far as virtue is concerned their tactics are peculiar ; they 
surrender the approaches, guard the fortress, and skilfully, 
persistently, and resolutely hunt for a husband. 

This gallantry, moreover, is not particularly delicate. 
On the contrary, it is either singularly innocent or sin- 
gularly coarse. These very young men who hang around 
a window for months, indulging in fond dreams, employ 
the terms of Babelais in accosting a woman that walks 
alone in the streets. Even with the woman they love, 
they use terms with a double meaning and indelicate 
witticisms. One of my friends happened one day to be of 
a party on a country excursion along with a young 
gentleman and lady who seemed to be mutually smitten, 
and who constantly forgot that they were in public. He 
remarked to his neighbour, ' Perhaps they are a newly- 
married couple and imagine themselves alone.' His 
neighbour made no reply and seemed to be embarrassed 
—he was the lady's husband. — Our friend asserts that 
the great Italian passion so lauded by Stendhal, that 
persevering adoration and devoted worship, that love 
capable of self-nourishment and of life endurance, is as 
rare here as in France. At all events it lacks delicacy ; 
Borne women are enamoured but only with externals ; what 
they admire is good looks, fine clothes, fine complexion, 
gold chains, and the whitest of linen. There is nothing 
of the gentle or feminine in their character ; they might 
prove to be good companions on dangerous occasioni 


when energy is required, but in ordinary circumstance* 
they are tyrants, and in the matter of pleasure exceedingly 
positive. Experts in such matters declare that a man 
enters on servitude on becoming the lover of a Roman 
woman; she exacts endless attentions and absorbs one's 
time mercilessly ; a man must always be at his post, offer 
his arm, bring bouquets, make presents of trinkets, show 
constant devotion, and be ecstatic, for if not, she concludes 
that he has another mistress, and will call him instantly to 
account, demanding unmistakable proofs to the contrary 
on the spot. In this country, where one's time is taken 
up neither by politics, industrial pursuits, literature, nor 
science, it is a species of merchandise without a market ; 
according to the economical principle of supply and de«« 
mand its value diminishes proportionately and even ceases 
entirely; so rated a woman may employ it in genu- 
flexions and small talk. 

They have become accustomed to this life, which 
seems to us so limited and almost dead. Deprived ol 
literature and the resources of travelling they make no 
comparisons with themselves or with others ; things have 
always been so and always will be ; once accepted, this 
fatality seems to be no more remarkable than the malaria. 
Besides this, many circumstances contribute to rendel 
this life supportable. A person can live here very 
cheaply ; a family with two children and a servant re- 
quires 2500 francs ; 3000 francs are as much as 6000 
francs in Paris. One may walk the streets in a cap and 
thread-bare coat ; nobody troubles his neighbour, for 
everybody is thinking of pleasure ; frolics are tolerated ; 
procure a confessional ticket, avoid liberals, prove your 
docility and indifference, and you will find the govern- 
ment patient, accommodating, indulgent, and paternal. 
Finally, the people do not exact much in the matter of 
pleasure; a Sunday promenade in a fine coat in the 


Borghese gardens and a dinner at a trattoria in the coun- 
try is something in store that satisfies the dreams of a 
week. They know how to lounge (Jlaner), to gossip, to be 
contented with the little they possess, to relish a fresh 
salad, to enjoy a glass of pure water, sipped in full view 
of a splendid effect of light. There is, moreover, in their 
composition a large stock of good humour. They think 
that one ought to pass his time agreeably, that useless 
indignation is folly, and sadness a disease ; their tem- 
perament seeks the joyous as a plant seeks sunshine. 
To good humour must be added unaffected famili- 
arity. A prince and his domestics freely converse 
and laugh with each other; a peasant of the envi- 
rons towards whom you may stand in the relation of 
a lord, thee's-and-thou's you without any difficulty; 
a young gentleman in society describes and criticises 
a young lady as if she were his mistress. Uncere- 
moniousness is complete ; the petty restraints of our 
society, our reserve and politeness, are unknown to 

Do they ardently desire to become Italians ? My 
friends assert that they would detest the Piedmontese 
before the end of a month. They are accustomed to li- 
cense, to exemption from penalties, to indolence and the 
system of favoritism, and would feel ill at ease if deprived 
of all this. On the whole, whoever has a patron, or is 
well connected, may do as he pleases, provided he does 
not concern himself with politics. The new tribunals 
organized in the Eomagna, at Bologna, for example, 
have broken up and punished gangs of robbers who 
found receivers of stolen goods in the best society. A 
peasant who had killed his enemy, but whose cousin is in 
the service of a cardinal, escapes with a punishment of two 
years in the galleys ; he was condemned for twenty years, 
but by degrees obtained his freedom and returned to his 
village, where he is no less esteemed than he was before- 


They are veritable savages, and would not easily submit 
to legal constraint. Besides all this, they lack moral 
sentiment, and if they do not possess it the fault is not 
wholly due to their rulers. Consider the bad German 
governments of the last century, quite as absolute and 
arbitrary as this one ; society was honest and principles 
were rigid, and the temperament of the nation attenuated 
the vices of the constitution ; at Rome it aggravates them. 
Man here has, naturally, no idea of justice ; he is too 
vigorous, too violent, and too imaginative to accept or im- 
pose checks on himself; if he goes to war he has no idea 
of limiting the rights of war. Six days ago a bomb ex- 
ploded in the house of the papal bookseller ; the pro- 
gressive party in Europe thus makes known its energy 
and frightens, it supposes, its enemies ; like Orsini, the 
end with them justifies the means. It is well known how 
Rossi was assassinated. In this respect the nations of the 
west of Europe cherish sentiments which the Bomans 



The aristocracy is said to be very shallow. My informants 
review the principal families for me. Several have 
travelled, and are tolerably well informed, and not 
badly disposed; but through a singular characteristic, 
due perhaps to too little crossing of blood, to a stagna- 
tion of the blood always confined to the same veins, 
almost all are mentally obtuse and narrow. One may 
study their portraits in a clever comedy by Count Giraud 
f L'Ajo nel imbarrazzo : ' Prince Lello, in the ' Tolla ' of 
Edmund About, is taken from life, the ridiculous letters 
therein being authentic. — I reply that I am acquainted 
with four or five nobles, or Roman grand seigneurs, 
all well-educated and agreeable men, some erudite or 
learned, one among others prepossessing as a prince, as 
spirituel as a journalist, as intelligent as an academician, 
and besides this, an artist and philosopher, so delicate 
and fecund in wit and in ideas of every description that 
he alone would absorb the conversation in the most 
brilliant and liberal of Parisian salons. They reply to 
this by telling me that I must not base my judgments on 
exceptions, and that in a company of blockheads, how- 
ever dull, there are always some people of sense. Three 
or four — and no more — are frank and open, and stand out 
against the sheeplike crowd. These are liberals, while 
the rest are supporters of the Pope, and aie enveloped 


within their education, prejudices, and inertia* like 3 
mummy wrapped up in its bandages. You find on theit 
table petty devotional books, and coarse songs, their 
French importations consisting of these alone. Their 
sons serve in the garda nobile, part their hair in the 
middle, and run after ladies, smirking like the barber 
that dressed it. 

There are very few salons ; the social principle is 
wanting, and they care but little for amusement. Every 
grand seigneur remains at home, and receives his intimates 
in the evening, who are people belonging to the house as 
much as its curtains and furniture. There is no fre- 
quenting of society, as in Paris, through ambitious motives, 
in order to form useful connections and an establishment ; 
such proceedings would be useless ; people here fish in 
other streams, and perforce, in an ecclesiastical stream. 
The cardinals, generally, are sons of peasants or of people 
of the middle class, each surrounded by intimates that have 
followed him for twenty years ; his physician, confessor, 
and valet owe their places to him, and they dispense his 
favours accordingly. A young man can succeed only by 
thus attaching himself to a prelate's fortunes, or to those 
of his dependents, which fortune is a big vessel impelled 
by the wind, with a crowd of smaller ones dragging after 
it. Eemark this, that the great credit of these prelates 
does not secure them salons. In order to obtain place or 
favour you must not address yourself to a cardinal, to 
the chief of a department ; he replies courteously and 
there the matter rests. You must push the secret 
springs ; you must address his barber or chief domestic, 
the man that helps him to change his shirt ; some morn- 
ing he will mention you and exclaim earnestly : ' Ah, 
your Eminence, this man holds sound opinions, and he 
speaks of you so respectfully ! ' 

Another circumstance fatal to the social spirit is the 


absence of self-abandonment. People distrust each other 
and measure their words, and are reserved. A foreigner 
here, who has entertained for the last twenty years, 
remarked that if he should leave Rome, he would not be 
obliged to write two letters in six months, so few friends has 
he in this country. The sole occupation, everywhere, is 
love ; the women pass the entire day in balconies, or if 
wealthy, go to mass, and from thence to the Corso again 
and again. Without daily escape, as elsewhere, sensibility 
when excited, produces violent passions, and sometimes 
remarkable explosions, as, for instance, the despair of the 
young Marchioness Vittoria Savorelli, who died of a 
broken heart because her betrothed, a Doria, abandoned 
her ; and again, the marriage of a certain lady of rank with 
a French subordinate officer, who saddled his horse in a 
palace court, and others of a romantic and tragic denoue- 

The great misfortune for the men is this — they have 
nothing to do ; they prey on themselves or sink into a 
lethargic state. For lack of occupation they intrigue 
against each other, play the spy and worry themselves 
like lazy monks shut up in a convent. Especially towards 
evening is the burden of indolence the most insupportable; 
you see them in their immense saloons before their rows 
of pictures, yawning, pacing about and waiting. Two or 
three acquaintances drop in, always the same persons, 
and the bearers of petty gossip. Rome in this respect is 
simply a provincial town. They inquire of each othei 
about dismissed servants, a new piece of furniture, visits 
returned too late or made too soon ; the houses and private 
life of everybody are constantly discussed; nobody 
enjoys the grand incognito of Paris or London. A few 
interest themselves in music or archaeology ; these taF* 
about recent excavations, and the imagination and affix ■ 
mations have full scope : these studies alone posse* i 


any vitality ; the rest are languishing or dead ; foreign 
reviews and newspapers do not arrive or are stopped 
every other number, while modern books are wanting. 
They cannot converse on their own careers, because they 
have none ; diplomacy and all the important offices are in 
the hands of the priests, while the army is foreign. 
Nothing remains but agriculture. Many devote them- 
selves to this, but indirectly ; they employ the peasantry 
through the agency of the mercanti di campagna ; these 
generally sublet to the Neapolitan drovers, who come here 
to pass the winter and spring. The soil is good, and the 
grass abundant. This or' that mercanti sublets at 25 
crowns for six months, what he has hired at 1 1 crowns 
for the year ; he gains about five crowns more on pastur- 
age, thus making nearly 300 per cent., his average profits 
being about 200 per cent. ; in this way he acquires a 
large fortune. Some ruin themselves through too exten- 
sive speculations, as in the buying and fattening of cattle 
that are carried off by disease ; but others, enriched, 
become prominent among the bourgeoisie, dress well, 
begin to reason, form a class of liberals, and look forward 
to a revolution which will place them at the head of 
affairs, and especially of municipal matters. Some, having 
acquired enormous wealth, purchase an estate and then a 
title ; one of them is now a duke. — A Roman noble cannot 
dispense with these people ; he is unacquainted with the 
peasantry, as he does not reside amongst them ; if he 
attempted to treat with them directly he would encounter 
a league. He has nothing in common with them, and i& 
not liked by them ; in their eyes he plays the part cf a 
parasite. On the other hand, he stands badly with the 
mefiante, by whom he feels himself plundered. The 
mercante, in his turn, in the eyes of the peasants, passes 
as a sort of necessary usurer. The three classes are 
separated ; there is no natural government. 


It is different in that part of the Romagna which has 
become Italian, where the nobles reside on their estates. 
But, excepting in two or three cantons, the Roman nobles 
who desire to live on their estates and manage matters 
themselves, and assume the moral and economical control 
of the country, find more obstacles now to contend with 
than ever. In the first place, labour is scarce ; the con- 
scription of Victor Emmanuel has drawn largely on the 
Abruzzians, who formerly did all the drudgery, while the 
Roman railroads absorb a large portion of the Romans, 
the Roman campagna being almost depopulated. Further- 
more commerce is too much dependent on caprice ; the 
exportation of grain is not free ; special permits are 
necessary for every operation or enterprise, and these are 
obtainable only according to your degree of influence. 
The government even interferes with private affairs ; for 
example, a tenant or farmer pays you no rent ; you grant 
him a respite of three months, and at the end of this 
another term of three months, and so on. Finally, out of 
patience, you conclude to expel him from the premises ; 
but his nephew is a chanoine, and the governor of the 
district requests you to oblige the poor man with an ex- 
tension of time. A year passes and you employ an officer ; 
the officer stays proceedings, on learning at the door that 
a cardinal has interested himself in the matter. You 
encounter a cardinal in society, and he entreats you, on 
the part of the Pope, to be merciful to an honest man who 
has never failed at his paschal duties, and whose nephew is 
conspicuous for his virtues in the datarie* 

In general the process is as follows. The tenant or 
peasant demands and obtains several times in succession 
a delay of fifteen days. In this way he manages to 
catch theferie, that is to say, the fete days near to Christ- 
mas, the Carnival, Easter, St. Peter's day, and those 
of the autumn. Some of these fetes last two months- 


on account of the sanctity of the hour, he claims still 

further indulgence, whereupon the judge grants him four 
months more. Having accomplished this he appeals, and 
again gains considerable time. Then he addresses himself 
to the ud, tore santissimo, a magistrate who is in direct com- 
munication with the Pope, and who is always very tender 
to the poor and the lower class. This is a new respite. 
He next alleges that his wife is in an interesting situation 
and approaching her confinement ; officers are directed to 
keep away, and you must wait for forty days after the 
accouchment. The forty days are about to expire ; he 
sublets the house to an insolvent friend, on condition that 
he remains in it as guest. You are then obliged to com- 
mence proceedings anew against this scapegoat, who, if 
he happens to be tonsured, compels you to go into the 
tribunal of the cardinal-vicar. — Your shortest way is to 
pay all expenses, and abandon your lease, and offer a 
small sum to your debtor to pack himself off and pursue 
his avocations elsewhere. 

An Italian noble I am acquainted with possesses several 
houses in Rome. In front of one of these, on the opposite 
side of the street, is the garden of a nunnery ; the superior 
of this establishment observes that from the third story of 
his house a glimpse can be had of a corner of the garden. 
The proprietor receives an order from the cardinal-vicar 
to close up and to board at his own expense the probable 
culpable window. I might cite numberless instances of 
similar annoyance. It is enough to disgust one with 

Man requires some fixed pursuit to keep him employed 
and rigid justice to keep him within bounds ; he is like 
water which requires a declivity and a dyke ; otherwise the 
limpid, useful, active element becomes a stagnant and 
fetid quagmire. Here ecclesiastical repression dries up 
the stream, and the regime of caprice incessantly under* 


mines tie dyke ; the quagmire exists, as we see in the 
foregoing details. If we find corruption and misery, it is 
because freedom of action is wanting, and a rigid 
standard of justice. My friends recommend me not 
to judge the nation by its present condition; it is in 
reality better than it seems ; it is necessary to discrimi- 
nate between what it is and what it may be. According 
to them, it is rich in energy and in intellect, and in order 
to convince me, they are going to take me to-morrow into 
the country and the outskirts of the city. You must see 
these, they say, before reasoning on the people 

March 21. The Country. — We left by the Porta del 
Popolo, and pursued our way through a long, dusty 
suburb ; here, too, are ruins. We entered on the right, 
the half-abandoned old villa of Pope Julius III. On 
pushing open a dilapidated door, an elegant court appears 
surrounded by a circular portico, sustained by square 
columns with Corinthian capitals ; this mass has subsisted 
through the solidity of its ancient construction. Now it 
is a sort of shed devoted to domestic purposes ; peasants 
and washwomen, with their sleeves rolled up are straying 
about. The brinks of the old marble basins are hung 
with linen awaiting a rinsing ; a duck on one leg contem- 
plates the copious bubbling water which, distributed for- 
merly with such princely prodigality, still flows and 
murmurs as in early days; screens of reeds, heaps of 
brush, with manure and animals, are gathered around the 
columns. These are the inheritors of Vignolles, Michael 
Angelo, and Annibale Caro, of that wise, warlike, literary, 
court, which resorted here at evening to entertain the 
generous old pope ! On the left, a grand staircase with- 
out steps, a sort of easy grade on which a man could 
ascend on horseback, developes the recesses and fine 
curves of its arches. 

On reaching the summit we forced a sort of latch, and 



entered a loggia ; after his supper the pope came here U 
converse and to enjoy the fresh breezes and to gaze on 
the broad campagna spread out before him. Columns 
support it; on the ceiling are still distinguishable the 
remains of elaborate panels once filled with their animated 
groups of figures ; a vast balcony prolongs the promenade 
and brings the air from without more freely to the lungs. 
Nothing could be more grandly conceived, nothing more 
appropriate to the climate, and more gratifying to artistic 
senses; this was the proper place to discuss architectural de- 
signs, and to rearrange the groupings of figures. Sketches 
were offered to the pope's inspection and pencilled in his 
presence ; such a man, so liberal, so fond of the beauti- 
ful, was organised to sympathise with such spirits. Now, 
nothing remains but a kind of granary ; the ironwork of 
the balcony is loose in its sockets, the panels have fallen 
out, the columns in the court have lost their stucco, 
and the mortar and brick can be seen within ; alone, 
the columns of the loggia still raise their beautiful white 
marble shafts. Two or three painters come, in the spring, 
to nestle in this ruin. 

There is a whirlwind of dust, and the sun feebly lights 
up the grey canopy of cloud ; the sky seems like lead ; 
the sirocco, enervating and feverish, blows in squalls. 
The Ponte Molle appears between its four statues; 
behind is a miserable inn, and immediately after this 
the desert begins. Nothing is more striking than these 
four shattered statues in profile against the grand solitary 
waste, forming an entrance to the tomb of a nation. On 
either side winds the Tiber, yellow and slimy, like a 
diseased serpent. Neither tree, nor house, nor any cul- 
tivation is to be seen on its banks. At long distances 
you detect brick moles, some tottering ruin beneath a 
headdress of plants, and on a declivity or in a hollow, a 
quiet herd of long-horned buffaloes ruminating. Bushel 


and miserable stunted shrubs shelter themselves in the 
hollows between the hills ; the fennel suspends its fringe 
of delicate verdure on the flank of an escarpment, but 
nowhere is a veritable tree to be seen, which is the melan- 
choly part of it. Beds of torrents furrow the uniform 
green with white lines ; the useless waters wind about, 
half lost, or quietly sleep in pools amongst decaying 

On all sides, as far as the eye can see, this solitude is 
a rolling waste of strange, monotonous undulations, and 
for a long time one strives to recall some known forms with 
which their strangeness may be compared. No one has 
ever seen the like, for nature does not produce such forms ; 
something has been superadded to nature to augment the 
pell-mell and anarchy of these upheavals. Whether 
salient or depressed their contours are those of a crushed 
human structure, disintegrated through the incessant 
attacks of time. You imagine ancient cities crumbled 
away and afterwards covered with earth, gigantic ceme- 
teries gradually effaced, and lost beneath the verdure. 
You feel that a vast population once dwelt here; that 
it ploughed and tilled the soil and overspread it with 
buildings and cultures ; that now nought of this subsists, 
its vestiges even having disappeared ; that fresh loam and 
a new turf have formed a new layer of ground, and you 
experience a vague sentiment of anguish, the same as if 
Btanding on the shores of a deep sea you saw through its 
abyss of motionless waters, as in a dream, the indistinct 
forms of some vast city sunk beneath its waves. 

You ascend two or three of these heights ; on con- 
templating the immense circle of the horizon entirely 
strewn with these masses of hills, and this pell-mell of 
funereal hollows, your heart sinks with hopeless dis- 
couragement. This is an amphitheatre, an amphitheatre 
the day after grand performances, and now a silent sepul* 

u 2 


chre : a rugged line of blue mountains, a distant barriei 
of solid rocks serves as its wall ; its decorations and all 
its marbles have perished ; nothing remains of it but its 
inclosure and a soil formed out of human bones. Here 
for centuries the bloodiest and most imposing of human 
tragedies were performed ; all nations, Gauls, Spaniards, 
Latins, Africans, Germans, and Asiatics, furnished its 
recruits and its hordes of gladiators ; innumerable corpses, 
now mingled together and forgotten, form its turf. 

Some peasants wearing stout gaiters pass on horseback 
with guns slung over their shoulders, and then shepherds 
in sheepskins with vacant, brilliant and dreamy eyes. 
We reach Porta Prima ; ragged little urchins and a girl 
in tatters and naked down to the stomach, cling to the 
carriage begging. 

At Porta Prima we inspect recent excavations, the 
house of Livia, where six months ago a statue of Augus- 
tus was found. All this is buried beneath the surface. 
"What accumulations of soil in Rome ! Lately, it is said, 
under one of the churches another was discovered, and 
under that still another, probably of the third century. 
The first had fallen in during some invasion of the bar- 
barians, and on the inhabitants returning its ruins formed 
a solid mass, the shafts of the columns serving them as 
the foundations for a second church. The same thing 
happened to the second church, and the third arose on that. 
Montaigne mentions buried temples at Rome the roofs of 
which were a lance's length below the pavement.— Passing 
along a road one sees in every country a layer of black 
mould which men cultivate ; out of this springs the 
entire vegetable, animal, and human population ; the living 
return to it in order to issue from it in other forms ; this 
manure bed, over-lying the grand inert mineral mass, is 
the sole movable portion that rises and falls according to 
the passing changes of existence. Certainly, in no plao« 


has the world been more violently agitated or more com- 
pletely upheaved than here. 

You penetrate with torches into these subterranean 
rooms supported by props and dripping with moisture* 
In passing the torch along the walls, various fine orna- 
ments reappear, one by one, such as birds, green foliage, 
mid pomegranates laden with their red fruit; it is the 
same simple, severe, healthy taste of antiquity, such as is 
disclosed in Herculaneum and Pompeii. 
■ The sun descends in abroad pale mist ; the wind, strong 
and blinding, raises up clouds of dust ; under this double 
veil the dull rays, like those of a mass of red-hot metal, 
vaguely extinguish themselves in the infinite desolation. 
On the summit of an escarpment a miserable tottering 
ruin is seen, the acropolis of Fidenae, and on another, the 
dark square of a feudal tower. 

March 22. — To-day, an excursion on foot to Frascati ; 
the sky is overcast, but the sun in places pierces through 
the heavy canopy of clouds. 

As one rises towards the devastated heights of Tuscu- 
lum the prospect becomes more grand and more melan- 
choly. The immense Roman campagna widens and 
spreads itself out like a sterile waste. Towards the east 
arise bristling mountain crags on which storm clouds 
repose ; to the west Ostia is distinguishable, and the faint 
line of the sea, a sort of vapoury band, white like the 
smoke of a furnace. At this distance and from this height 
the mounds which emboss the plain are half effaced ; they 
resemble the long, feeble undulations of a gloomy ocean. 
No cultivation ; the wan hue of abandoned fields prolong* 
its dull, faded tints until the eye can no longer detect 
them. Heavy clouds cover it with shadow, and all those 
dark purple bands stripe the ruddy background as in the 
old mantle of a herdsman. 

Boldness, frankness and energy, without gaiety, charac* 


terise my young guide. He is nineteen years of age^ 
knows five or six French words, does no work and lives 
on his profession of cicerone, or, in other words, on the few 
pauls which he picks up by chance. His deportment 
is neither agreeable, engaging, nor respectful; he is 
rather gloomy and curt, and gives his explanations with 
the gravity of a savage. We however, as strangers, are 
to him rich lords. They tell me that these people are 
naturally proud, even haughty and disposed to equality. 
At Rome in a cafe, a waiter at the end of three days will, 
on hearing a stranger venture on his first Italian phrases, 
criticise him and exclaim aloud in his presence, c He is 
getting on well, he is improving.' 

We leave the Villa Mandragone on our left, a vast 
ruin decked with swaying plants and shrubbery. On the 
right the Villa Aldobrandini displays its avenues oi 
colossal platanes, its sculptured hedges, and its architec- 
ture of staircases, balustrades and terraces. At its en- 
trance, backed against the mountain, is a portico covered 
with columns and statues, discharging floods of waters 
which pours into it from a cascade of steps above. This is 
the Italian rural palace constructed for a nobleman of classic 
tastes, one who relished nature according to the landscapes 
of Poussin and Claude Lorraine. In the interior the \^ alls 
are decorated in fresco with tf Apollo and the nine Muses,' 
' The Cyclops and Vulcan at his Forge/ several ceilings 
by the Chevalier d' Arpino, and c Adam and Eve,' ' David 
and Goliath,' and a ' Judith,' simple and beautiful- by 
Domenichino. It is impossible to regaid the men of that 
day as of the same species as ourselves. They were 
peasants, tonsured or untonsured ; men ready for bold 
actions, voluptuous and superstitious, their heads running 
on corporeal images, sometimes contemplating in their 
idle hours, as in a vision, the form of a mistress or the 
torso of a saint ; men that had heard the stories of the 


Bible or of Livy related, and had sometimes read Ariosto, 
possessing no critical power or delicacy, and exempt from 
the multitude of subtile conceptions with which our 
literature and education abound. In the history of 
David and Goliath, all niceties for them consisted of the 
diverse movements of an arm, and various attitudes of the 
body. The invention of the Chevalier d'Arpino reduces 
itself to the forcing of that movement into a furious 
action, and that attitude into a contortion. That which 
interests the moderns in a head, the expression of 
some rare profound sentiment, elegance, and whatever 
denotes finesse and native superiority, is never apparent 
with them, save in that precocious investigator, that re- 
fined, saddened thinker, that universal feminine genius, 
Leonardo da Vinci. Domenichino's ' Judith,' here, is a 
fine, healthy, innocent, peasant girl, well painted and 
well proportioned. If you seek the exalted, complicated 
sentiments of a virtuous, pious, and patriotic woman who 
has just converted herself into a courtesan and an assassin, 
who comes in with bloody hands, feeling perhaps, under 
her girdle, the motions of the child of the man whom she 
has just murdered, you must seek for them elsewhere ; 
you must read the drama of Hebbel, the ' Cenci ' of 
Shelley, or propose the subject to a Delacroix, or to 
an Ary Scheffer. 

I satisfied myself this evening of the truth of this by 
reading Vasari. Take, for instance, the lives of the two 
Zucchero, among so many others of the same stamp. 
They were mechanics brought up in a studio from the 
age of ten, producing as much as possible, seeking orders 
and repeating everywhere the same biblical or mythological 
Bubjects,whether the labours of Hercules, or the creation of 
man. Their minds were not encumbered with dissertations 
or theories such as we possess since the days of Diderot and 
Goethe. If mention is made of Hercules or of tho 


Almighty they imagine a vigorous muscular figure, naked 
or draped, in a blue or brown mantle. In a similar 
manner, all these princes, abbes, and private persons 
who decorated their houses or churches, only sought to 
please the eye ; they had probably read the tales of Ban- 
dello, or the descriptions of Marini, but in substance 
literature then did no more than illustrate painting. To- 
day it is the reverse. 

We ascended to the heights of Ancient Tusculum. 
Here you see the remains of a villa which, they say, 
belonged to Cicero : shapeless masses of disjointed bricks, 
and half-disinterred substructures, all melting away 
under the attacks of winter and the encroachments of 
vegetation. Occasionally, as you advance, you detect 
the walls of an antique chamber, appearing alongside of 
the road, in the flanks of an escarpment. On the summit 
is a small theatre, strewn with scattered fragments of 
columns. This desolate mountain, covered in some 
places with low thorny bushes, but generally bare, where 
sharp broken crags project above the meagre soil, is of 
itself a vast ruin. Man once dwelt here, but he has dis- 
appeared ; it has the aspect of a cemetery. On the 
summit stands a cross above a heap of blackened stones : 
the wind sighs as it passes through them, singing its 
lugubrious psalmody. The mountains to the south, red 
with still leafless trees, the promontory of Monte Cavi, 
the range of desolate heights beneath their wild head- 
dress of yellow plants, the Roman campagna, under a 
dull shroud of scattered clouds, all suggest a field of the 

The watered forests through which you pass on de- 
scending the mountain, bloom with white and red anemones, 
and with periwinkles of a charming tender blue. A little 
farther on the abbey of Grotto Ferrata, with its mediaeval 
battlements, its old arcades of elegant columns, and 


Domenichino's sober earnest frescoes, somewhat relieves 
the mind of funereal impressions. On returning, at Fras- 
cati, the music of running streams, the blooming almond, 
and the hawthorns in the green hollow of the mountain, 
and the bright young wheat springing up, gladden the 
heart with an appearance of sprirg. The sky has become 
Jear, and the exquisite azure is visible, flecked with little 
white clouds soaring aloft like doves ; all along the road 
round arches of aqueducts nobly develop themselves in 
the luminous atmosphere. Nevertheless, even under this 
sun, all these ruins strike you painfully — they testify to 
so much misery ; sometimes it is a tottering vault under- 
mined at its base ; again, an isolated arch, or a fragment 
of wall, or three buried stones projecting above the surface 
of the ground, all that remains perhaps of some bridge 
carried away by a deluge, or all that subsist* of a vast 
city consumed in a conflagration. 



March 22. The People. — After all in forming a judg* 
ment of the Roman peasantry, the principal trait of theif 
character to consider is their energy, that is to say, their 
aptitude for violent and dangerous actions. Here are a 
few anecdotes. 

Our friend N , an athletic man, and brave, and 

calm, resides in the country at a distance of five or six 
leagues from this place. He informs us that in his village 
stabbing is quite frequent ; of the three brothers of his 
servant, one is in the bagnio and two have been assas- 
sinated. In the same village two peasants were amusing 
themselves and jesting with each other; one wore a 
flower in his button hole, a gift from his mistress, and the 
other seized it. s Give me that ! ' said the lover ; the 
other only laughed. The lover became serious : ' Give 
me that immediately ! ' The other laughs again. The 
lover now attempts to retake it by force, when the other 
runs off; he pursues him, overtakes him, and plunges a 
knife in his back, and not only once but twenty times, 
like a butcher and a maniac. Sanguinary rage is seen 
in their eyes, and for « moment they lapse back to 
a state of primitive ferocity. 

An officer along with us cites similar instances. Two 
French soldiers were walking along the banks of the 
Tiber, and observed a man attempting to drown a dog ■ 


they prevent it and blows follow. The man cries out foi 
help, and the people of the quarter respond, one, an 
apprentice, buries his knife in the back of the foremost 
soldier who falls motionless. This soldier possessed the 
strength and structure of a Hercules, but the blow was 
«o well directed that it reached the heart. 

Two other soldiers, in the country, enter a field, and 
steal some figs, and escape : the proprietor, unable to 
overtake them, fires at them twice, killing one and 
breaking the leg of the other. They are genuine savages -, 
they think they have a right to make war on all occasions, 
and to carry it out to the end. 

Our friend N attempted in his village to abolish 

some cruel practices. An ox or a cow is slaughtered 
there every week ; but before they despatch the poor 
brute, they deliver him over to the children and young 
of the place, who put out his eyes, kindle a fire under his 
belly, cut away his lips and slash him like a martyr, and 
all for the pleasure of seeing him furious ; — they love 

strong emotions, N tries to dissuade them from 

this, and goes in search of a cure, besides appealing to 
others. In order to touch them to the quick, he gives 
them positive reasons ; he tells them that ' the meat thus 
heated is not good.' c What is that to us ? we are too poor, 
and never eat it,' is the reply. One day he encounters 
a peasant severely beating a donkey, and he begs him to 
desist, to 'let the poor beast alone.' The peasant 
responds with the scherzo, a hard biting Roman jest, c I 
did not know that my donkey had relations in this 
village.' Such are the effects of a bilious temperament, 
of acrid passions generated by climate, and of barbarous 
energy unemployed. 

The Marchioness of C tells us that she does not 

reside on her estate, owing to its great loneliness, and be- 
cause the peasants are too ivicked. I make her repeat this 


term; she insists on it and likewise her husband. A 
certain shoemaker stabbed a comrade in the back, and 
after a year at the galleys returned to his village and is 
now prosperous. Another kicked his wife, big with 
child, to death. Criminals are condemned to the galleys 
and often for life, but several times a year the Pope 
grants an amelioration of sentences ; if one has a protector 
he escapes from a murder with only two or three years of 
punishment. The bagnio is not a very bad place. The 
prisoners acquire a trade there, and on returning to their 
villages are not dishonoured, but rather feared, which is 
often of utility. 

I cite, in connection with this, two traits related to me 
on the frontiers of Spain. At a bull-fight a pretty Span- 
ish lady observes alongside of her a French lady shielding 
her eyes with her hand at the aspect of a disembowelled 
horse trampling on his own entrails. She shrugs her 
shoulders and exclaims, Q A heart of butter ! ' A Spanish 
refugee had assassinated a merchant without getting a 
spot of blood on his clothes ; the judge says to him, ' It 
seems that you are an expert in murder.' The man 
haughtily replies, * And you, do you ever stain your robe 
with your ink ? ' Three or four facts like these reveal a 
stratum of humanity quite unknown to us. In these 
uncultivated men of an intense imagination, whose 
feelings are hardened by suffering, the spring within is of 
terrible power and its action prompt. Modern ideas of 
humanity, moderation, and justice, are not yet instilled 
into them so as to modify its power or direct its blows. 
Such as they were in the middle ages such are they now 

The government has never cared to civilise them ; it 
demands nothing of them but taxes and a confessional 
ticket : in other matters it abandons them to themselves, 
and again, sets them an example in its system of favouri- 
tism. How can people entertain any ideas of equity when 


they see an all-powerful protection exercised against 
private rights and public interest ? An apt proverb of 
theirs which I modify, says, ' A woman's beauty has more 

power than a hundred buffaloes.' Near N s' village 

stood a forest of great value to the country, and which was 
about to be felled ; a monsignor had a hand in the profits, 
and all the reclamations of our friend were in vain. 
Seeing criminals pardoned, and the knavery of officials, 
makes the government appear to them a powerful being 
to be conciliated, and society as a struggle in which every- 
body must defend himself. On the other hand, in the 
matter of religion, their Italian imagination comprehends 
rites only ; to them celestial, like civil powers, are simply 
redoubtable personages whose anger one escapes through 
genuflexions and offerings, and nothing more. On passing 
before a crucifix they cross themselves and mumble a 
prayer ; twenty paces off when Christ is no longer visible, 
they revert to blasphemy. With such an education one 
can judge for himself if they possess the sentiment of 
honour, and if for example, in the matter of a vow, they 
consider themselves bound by duty. American Indians 
take pride in tricking and deceiving their enemies ; in a 
similar manner these find it natural to deceive a judge. 
In war sincerity is a weakness — why should I give arms 

against myself to one who is armed against me. N , 

pistol in hand, protected a cow about to be tortured. In 
the evening, a few days after, while standing on his door- 
step, a big stone comes whistling near his head. He 
springs down, seizes a man and handles him pretty roughly. 
This man, however, was not the offender. He goes far- 
ther on and encounters two brothers ; the elder who had 

thrown the stone, becomes livid, raises his gun at N 

and takes aim. N— seizing the younger, interposes 
his body as a shield ; the latter in the grip of an athlete, 
and powerless, grinds his teeth and calls upon his brother 


to fire. Just at this moment, N *s servant appeari 

with a gun, and the two scoundrels take to flight. Our 
friend makes a complaint before the authorities; four 
persons attend, one of whom is a priest, and all actual 
witnesses of the transaction ; they swear that they did not 

see who threw the stone. Thereupon N , exasperated 

and compelled to make himself respected and feared in 
order to live in the village, gives to one of his neighbours, 
who saw nothing, a dollar, and this person designates 
under oath the man that committed the offence. In Ben- 
gal, in the same manner, and with still greater facility, 
twenty false witnesses appear, for and against, in the 
same trial.* Neighbours complacently swear in each 
other's behalf or at so much per oath, the same causes in 
the two countries producing the same mendacity. In all 
antiquity, on the judge ceasing to be just, testimony was 
given not as in the presence of a judge, but as in that of 
an enemy. 

On the other hand, this mendacious people, cruel and 
violent as savages are at the same time as stoical. When ill 
or wounded, you see them with a broken leg or with a 
knife in their bodies, seated perfectly still wrapped up in 
their mantles and making no complaints, as concentrated 
and passive as so many suffering brutes ; all they do is 
to regard you with a fixed and melancholy stare. 

This is because their daily life is a hard one, and they 
are accustomed to such penalties ; they eat nothing but 
polenta, and wear nothing but rags. Villages are few 
and far between ; distances of several leagues must be 
traversed in order to reach the fields in which they labour. 
Emancipate them, however, from this militant condition 
and this constant strain, and their rich underlying nature, 
abundantly supplied with well-balanced faculties, appeari 

• 6ee M. de Valbezen, The English in India. 


without effort. They become affectionate when well 

treated. According to N , a stranger who acts loyally 

with them finds them loyal. Duke G , who organised, 

and has commanded for thirty years a corps of firemen, 
cannot say too much in praise of them ; he compares them 
in patience, endurance, courage, and military fidelity to 
the ancient Romans. His company are conscious of being 
honourably and justly treated and employed in a manly 
occupation, and for this reason they give themselves up 
to him body and soul. One need only look at the heads 
of the monks and of the peasants in the streets or in the 
country ; intelligence and energy are their peculiar cha- 
racteristics ; it is impossible to escape from the idea that the 
brain here is ample and that man is complete. Stendhal, 
a former functionary of the Empire, states that, on 
Rome and Hamburg becoming French departments, ad- 
ministrative blanks were furnished to these cities, contain- 
ing minute and complicated instructions for the use of the 
customs and for statistics ; the Hamburgers required six 
weeks to comprehend them and fill them up, while the 
Romans required but three days. Sculptors pretend to 
say that, undressed, their flesh is as firm and healthy as in 
antiquity, whilst beyond the mountains the muscles are 
ugly and flabby. You begin to believe, indeed, that 
these people are the ancient Romans of Papirius Cursor, 
or citizens of the redoubtable republics of the middle ages, 
the best endowed of all men, the best qualified to invent 
and to act, but now sunk and hidden under cowls, rags, 
and liveries, employing noble faculties in chanting litanies, 
in intrigue, in begging, and in self-debasement. 

Pure water is still discernible in this marsh ; when the 
heart overflows its expansion is admirable; whatever 
grossness or licentiousness there may be, the same virgin 
nature which furnished divine expressions to the great 
masters still glows with enthusiasm and rapture. One oi 


our friends, a German physician, has a servant, a pretty 
girl, in love with a certain Francesco who is employed en 
a railroad at four pauls a day. He has nothing and she 
has nothing, and they cannot marry, as a hundred crowns 
are necessary before they can commence housekeeping 
He is a worthless fellow, not good-looking, and he regards 
her indifferently; but she has known him from infancy 
and been attached to him for eight years. If she goes 
three days without seeing him, she loses her appetite ; 
the doctor is obliged to reserve her wages, fearing that 
she may part with all her money. In other respects she 
is as pure as she is true : she is strong in the beauty of 
her feeling and speaks freely of her affection. I question 
her about Francesco ; she smiles and blushes imper- 
ceptibly; her face lights up and she seems to be in 
paradise; no more charming, more graceful object could 
be contemplated than this spiritual Italian countenance 
illuminated by a pure, powerful, and self-sacrificing senti- 
ment. She wears her beautiful Soman costume, and her 
head is encircled with the red Sunday covering. What 
resources, what finesse, what force, what impulses such a 
soul contains ! What a contrast when one thinks of the 
flushed visages of our peasantry and the allurements of 
our conceited grisettes ! 

Here I enter on the delicate question ; and with a good 
will, as we are not orators pre-determined to find political 
arguments, but naturalists unbiassed and uncommitted, 
occupied in observing the works and sentiments of man, as 
we observe the instincts, works, and habits of ants and bees. 
Are the Romans for Italy or for the Pope ? According 
to my friends, any precise answer to this question is 
difficult ; these people are too ignorant, too much affiliated 
with the soil, too rooted in their village hatreds and in 
terests to have any opinion on such questions. Never 
theless, one may suppose them to be controlled in this at 


in other matters by their imagination and by habit. The 
Pope, on his last journey amongst them, was received with 
acclamations, the people being fairly stifled around his 
carriage ; he is aged, and his fine benevolent countenance 
produces on their ardent uncultivated natures an effect 
like the statue of a saint ; his person, his vestments, 
seem laden with pardon, and they desire to touch them as 
they do the statue of St. Peter. Moreover, the govern- 
ment is not oppressive, at least visibly so ; its rigours are 
all for the intelligent, its adversary being the man who 
reads or who has been educated at a university ; the rest 
are spared. A peasant, indeed, may be imprisoned eight 
days for eating meat on a fast day, but as he is supersti- 
tious he has no desire to fail in such rites. He is again 
obliged to obtain his confessional certificate ; but it is not 
repugnant to him to relate his affairs in a vivid and 
violent manner, in a black wooden box ; besides there are 
people in the city who make a business of confession and 
of communion ; these procure certificates and dispose of 
them at two pauls apiece. In addition to this the direct 
taxes are light, and feudal rights have been abolished by 
Cardinal Gonsalvi ; there is no conscription ; the police 
are very negligent and tolerate petty infractions of the 
law, also the license of the streets. If a man stabs his 
enemy he is soon pardoned; there is no fear of the 
scaffold, a horrible irremediable affair to Southern imagi- 
nations. Finally, the chase is allowed throughout the year, 
and the privilege of carrying arms costs almost nothing ; 
there are no game preserves save those surrounded by 
walls. It is easy to do as one pleases on the sole condi- 
tion of not discussing political subjects, in which nobody 
takes an interest and which nobody comprehends. Ac- 
cordingly, since the advent of the Piedmontese there ia 
much discontent amongst the peasantry of the Romagna. 
The conscription seems to bear hard upon them, and 



taxes are heavy; they are annoyed by numberless re« 
gulations : for example, they are forbidden to dry theii 
clothes in the streets, and are subject to a rigid police 
and to imposts for ultramontane countries. Modern life 
exacts steady labour, numerous sacrifices, activity, close 
attention, and incessant contrivance; one must will, strive, 
grow rich, instruct himself, and be enterprising. Such a 
transformation cannot be effected without trials and oppo- 
sition. Do you suppose that a man who has lain a-bed for 
ten years, even in dirty clothes and infested with vermin, 
will, when obliged to do it, spring up suddenly and con- 
tentedly make use of his limbs ? He is sure to murmur ; 
he will regret his inertia, and try to get back to his bed, 
finding his limbs a source of annoyance to him. Give 
him time, however, make him taste the pleasures of ac- 
tivity, of clean clothes, of plastering up the crannies of 
his tenement, of putting furniture into it, the fruit of his 
own labour, and on which no man, whether neighbour or 
officer, dare put his hand, and then will he be reconciled 
to property and comforts, and to that freedom of action 
of which he at first simply felt the inconveniences with- 
out comprehending either its advantages or its dignity. 
Already in the Romagna the mechanics are liberals; in 
Rome, in 1849, countless shopkeepers and small property 
holders shouldered their guns and betook themselves to 
the fortifications and fought bravely. Let the peasantry 
become proprietors, and they will entertain the same views 
as the rest. The property that can be given to them is 
already at hand ; before the late events, the regular and 
secular clergy of the Roman states possessed 535 millions 
of landed estates, which is double the amount of that of 
the end of the last century,* and double that of the 

* Finances Pontificates, by Marquis Pepoli. In 1797 the amount WW 
but 23? millions. 


French clergy at the present time ; the Italian govern- 
ment might dispose of these estates as it is already doing in 
the rest of Italy. This is the great lever to move. Like 
the French peasant after 1789 the Roman peasant will 
devote himself to cultivating, improving, grading, widen- 
ing, and extending his grounds ; he will economise in order 
to ascend higher on the social ladder ; he will put his son 
to legal pursuits, marry his daughter to an employe, and 
live on his income ; he will learn to calculate and to read ; 
he will keep the code on his bookshelves, subscribe to a 
newspaper, invest in stocks, paint and repair his domicile, 
and fill it with old furniture from the city. Open a dam 
and the water flows at once ; render comforts and acquisi- 
tion possible, and people soon desire to possess and enjoy. 
And, especially, do not forget prisons for robbery and 
scaffolds for assassins, for with strict and impartial justice 
man immediately comprehends that only prudent gain 
is honest gain, and he walks along inoffensive, useful, 
and protected on the straight road within the barriers 
of the law. 



March 25. The Government. — I do not assume to look 
very far ahead. Politics is not my forte, and eepe- 
cially the politics of the future ; it is too complicated a 
science : besides, in order to give basis to a judgment 
serious study is necessary, and a much longer residence in 
the country. Let me speak of that which is visible to 
all, for example, the government. 

Nobody talks about anything else. I have not con- 
versed with an Italian that did not immediately enter on 
the subject of politics. It is their passion; they them- 
selves admit that for fifty years past poetry, literature, 
science, history, philosophy, religion, all intellectual oc- 
cupations and works have yielded to its supremacy. 
Take up a tragedy or a metaphysical tract, and seek the 
intention of its author and it will be found to be to 
preach a republic, a monarchy, a confederation or a 

They say that the French occupation of Rome has 
rendered the government worse than ever. Formerly it 
acted cautiously, stopping half-way in a course of in« 
justice ; nowadays, supported by a garrison of eighteen 
thousand men, it no longer fears the discontented. Ac- 
cordingly, nobody doubts that the day the French leave 
will be the last of papal sovereignty. I try to have the 
limits and extent of this oppression clearly defined. It 


is noT violent and atrocious like that of the kings of 
Naples; in the South the former Spanish tyranny be- 
queathed habits of cruelty — there is nothing of the kind 
in Rome. Here they do not seize a man without warning, 
in order to incarcerate him in a dungeon and torture him 
and render him insensible every morning by dashing ice- 
water on his body. If he is liberal and in ill favour 
the police make a descent on his house, break open his 
drawers, seize his papers and carry him off. At the ex- 
piration of five or six days he is interrogated by a sort of 
justice of the peace ; other examinations follow, the 
records of which form a file that is submitted after long 
delays to judges properly so called. These study the 
matter quite as long ; one man perhaps may be held on 
accusation three and another six months. The trial then 
comes on ; it is said to be a public one, but it is not ; the 
public remains outside the door, only three or four spec- 
tators being admitted, who are well known and reliable 
persons, and who are provided with tickets of admission. 
Again, the police avail themselves of accidents. Fifteen 
days ago two persons were assassinated in their carriage 
at seven o'clock in the evening a few paces off the Corso, 
and robbed of ten thousand piastres ; the police, unable 
to find the villains, take advantage of the opportunity to 
lock up a few liberals provisionally. All the world is 
familiar with a recent trial the evidence of which was 
suppressed by the Roman authorities. The principal 
witness was a prostitute who denounced not only those 
who visited her, but others that never saw her. A certain 
young man is implicated ; he is arrested at night, tried 
Becretly and condemned to fiveyears' imprisonment. He so- 
lemnly assured his brother in a confidential interview thai 
he was innocent. — The laws are passable, but arbitrary 
power perverts them, introducing itself into penalties as 
well as into pardons ; no person can depend on obtaining 


justice, no one will consent to be a witness, nobody is 
averse to stabbing, or thinks himself safe from denuncia- 
tion, nobody is sure of sleeping in his own bed and room 
one day after another. 

In respect to money nobody has to fear confiscation ; 

this is replaced by annoyances. Marquis A possesses a 

large estate near Orvieto on which his ancestors founded 
a village. The people of the place, authorised by a 
special monsignore decree a tax on real estate which 

must be paid by the Marquis A . Authorised by 

the same monsignore they commence legal proceedings 
against him respecting a certain plot of ground ; if they 
gain the cause he pays its costs ; if they lose it he still 
pays, for, the soil belonging to him, his property must 
provide for the expenses of the commune. A man has to 
be a friend of the government in order to enjoy his in- 
come ; if not he runs the risk of deaf ears amongst his 
tenantry. It is by thousands of petty personal liens like 
these that the government holds and maintains its propri- 
etors and nobility. 

The members of the mezzo ceto, such as lawyers, phy- 
sicians, etc., are similarly fettered ; their professions make 
them dependent on this immense papalistic coterie ; if 
they were to show themselves liberal they would lose the 
best of their practice. Beside this, the establishments of 
public instruction are all in the hands of the clergy; 
Borne has not a single lay college or boarding-schooL 
Finally, sum up the dependants, beggars, clerks, and sine* 
curists, actual or prospective, all of whom are obedient 
and demonstrate their zeal ; their daily bread depends on 
their fidelity. Behold, thus, a hierarchy consisting of 
curbed and prudent people, who smile with a discreet air 

and applaud at will. Count C remarked, € It is the same 

here as in China; the feet are not cruelly amputated, but 


they are so effectually twisted and deformed under theil 
bandages that people are incapable of walking.' 

Any other result is impossible — and here we have to 
admire the logic of things. An ecclesiastical government 
cannot be liberal. An ecclesiastic may be so; he 
frequents society, the positive sciences crowd on him, lay 
nit erests interfere to divert the native bent of his thoughts ; 
deprive him, however, of these influences, abandon him to 
himself, surround him with other priests, and place the 
reins of power in his hands, and he will revert back as 
did Pius VII. and Pius IX. to the maxims of his office, 
and follow the invincible tendency of his profession. 
Being a priest, and especially pope, he possesses truth, abso- 
lute and complete. He is not obliged, as we are, to seek it 
in the accumulated judgments and future discoveries of 
all men ; it centres in him and in his predecessors. Prin- 
ciples are founded on tradition, proclaimed in papal briefs, 
renewedin encyclical letters, detailed in theological summa- 
ries, and applied in their minutest details according to the 
prescriptions of canonists, and the discussions of casuists. 
There is no human idea or action, public or private, which 
is not defined, classified, and qualified in the ponderous 
folios of which he is the defender and inheritor. More- 
over this knowledge is a living science ; once received 
into his mind and duly promulgated all doubts must cease. 
God decides in him and through him; contradiction is 
rebellion and rebellion sacrilege. The first of all duties 
therefore in his eyes is obedience ; investigation, private 
judgment, a self-suggesting capacity, are sinful. Man 
must allow himself to be led, he must abandon himself 
like an infant; his reason and will no longer reside ia 
him but in another delegated for this trust from on high ; 
he has in short a director. This, in fact, is the true name 
of a Catholic priest, and this the object and end of the 
government of Rome. Bearing this title it may b* 


indulgent, and render slight services ; it may pardon man'g 
weaknesses, humour worldly temptations, and tolerate di- 
vergencies ; violence is repugnant to it, and especially 
open violence; it loves unctuous terms and indulgent 
proceedings ; it never threatens, but advises and ad- 
monishes. It casts over sinners like a rich wadded mantle 
the amplitude of its affectionate periods ; it willingly en- 
larges on its merciful heart and on its paternal instincts ; 
never however swerving in the one particular of requiring 
submission both of mind and heart. Having thus secured 
obedience, it emerges from the theological domain and 
enters that of private life ; it decides on vocations, super- 
vises marriages, chooses professions, controls promotions, 
rules testamentary decisions and the like. 

Consequently it takes especial care in public matters to 
guard- people against the perilous temptations of action. 
In Rome, for instance, it nominates municipal councillors 
who, to complete their board, enjoy the right of nominating 
others ; these, however, must be approved of by the Pope, 
all, in fact, holding their seats according to his will. 
The same course is followed in other departments; a 
monsignore presides over hospitals, a monsignore super- 
intends theatres, and regulates the length of a dancer's 
petticoats. As to the administrative department, things 
go on to as great an extent as possible in the old beaten 
track. Political economy is a dangerous science, a 
modern one and too closely associated with material bene- 
fits. Taxes are kept or imposed on the most fruitful pro- 
ducts without a thought of the wide-spread and invisible 
impoverishment of the country produced by the reaction. 1 * 
Every time a horse is sold he is taxed five per cent 
Cattle at pasture pay also, and besides this twenty-eight 

* Marquis Pepoli, Finances Pontificates. See also the Memoirf ol 
Cardinal Gonsalvi, 


francs a head in the market, which is from twenty to thirty 
per cent, of their value ; fish pay eighteen per cent, of 
the price at which they are sold ; and grain, produced in 
the agro romano, about twenty-two per cent. Add to 
this an income tax which is not light ; I know a fortune 
of thirty-three thousand crowns ;^r annum, which pays a 
tax of from five to six thousand crowns. Besides, they 
borrow. All this belongs to the traditional practices of 
the luoghi di monte, to the financial principles of the last 
two centuries. The object is to live, and they live from 
day to day ; they take particular care not to disturb the 
established order of things ; innovations are horrible to 
old people alarmed at the modern spirit. A friend, 
who has travelled in Mexico, said to the Pope, ' Your 
Holiness, sustain the new emperor ; direct the Mexican 
clergy to conform to the new order of things, otherwise, 
the empire will fall : American Protestants will invade it, 
and colonise it, and a vast country will be lost to the 
Catholic faith.' The Pope seemed to comprehend this, 
and yet the insurmountable weight of tradition has just 
publicly armed him against the only establishment capable 
of prolonging the existence in North America of the reli- 
gion of which he is the sovereign head. 

To subsist, impede, withhold, preserve, delay, and ex- 
tinguish, is, in short, the nature of this mind ; if you seek 
for any other distinct trait still does the ecclesiastical 
spirit furnish it. A priest is committed to celibacy, and 
for this reason he is more concerned with sins against 
chastity than with all others. In our laic morality the 
first principle is honour, that is to say, the obligation to 
be courageous and true; here all morality revolves 
around the idea of sex ; to maintain the mind in primitive 
purity and ignorance is the main object, or at least to 
abstract it from sensuality by mortification and abstinence, 
or, at all events, to avoid visible scandal. On this point the 


police regulations are rigid ; women are not allowed in the 
street at night ; matters are conducted clandestinely, and 
the French commandant and the special monsignore fre- 
quently exchange polite notes. External decency is main- 
tained at all price, — and at such a price ! Lately a poor 
young girl, who had an intrigue, was arrested and im* 
prisoned in a penitentiary, and, as she was informed, for life. 
€ Is there no means of being discharged ? ' she inquires. 
' Yes,' is the reply, c if you can find some one to marry 
you.' She sends for an old rogue who had once paid his 
court to her fruitlessly ; the rogue espouses her, and a 
month afterwards turns her "to profit in the usual manner. 
Appearances, however, are saved. — One of my friends 
tells me of a young girl, seduced by a mechanic, and who 
desired, above all things, to suckle her child herself; a cure 
sends some gendarmes, takes the child by main force, and 
places it in a foundling hospital. — The cure has a right 
to interfere in all your affairs : he can prevent you from 
keeping a female servant if you are not married ; if he 
suspects an intrigue he can forbid you from visiting ladies 
single or married ; he can expel women from his parish 
whose conduct seems to him doubtful ; he can demand of 
the cardinal- vicar the exile of an actress or of a danseuse ; 
he has gendarmes subject to his orders, and is only re- 
sponsible to the cardinal- vicar. — A Roman cannot possibly 
live in Rome if he does not stand well with his cure ; a 
passport or a permit to hunt is not obtainable without the 
cure's certificate ; he has his eye on your habits, opinions, 
conversations, and studies, the police, in short, being on 
your track on all sides. To avoid show, to spread a 
varnish of propriety over life, to secure the observance of 
rites, to remain uncontradicted, to rest undisturbed in old 
uncontested ways, to be absolute in the world of intellect 
and business through the ascendency of habit and of 
imagination, is the end and aim of priestly pretension; 


One readily perceives how such an ambition proceeds 
not from a temporary situation but from the very essence 
of institutions and character. A temporal government 
in the hands of ecclesiastics cannot be otherwise; it 
develops into a mild, petty, listless, respectable, monkish 
invincible despotism just as any plant develops into its 



I READ the * Unita Cattolica ' every morning with much 
pleasure. It is an instructive paper ; one sees clearly 
the sentiments that are called religious and catholic in 

One of the liberal journals proposed that Italian ladies 
should send their rings to Garibaldi on his fete day ; — 
what an insult to St. Joseph, who is, unfortunately, this 
bandit's patron saint ! As an offset to this the s Unita ' 
recommends the ladies to send their rings to the Pope, 
because he is the head of the Church, the Church mysti- 
cally embodying a character which ought to be dear to all 
women, that of maternity ; — this argument is irresistible. 
Another journal calls the Pope * the great mendicant f 
(il gran mendico). — For a month past I have read over the 
lists of donations placed on the top of the first page, 
There are quite a number of them. It is estimated that 
the Pope annually receives 2,000,000 piastres from this 
source. Generally, they are given in return for some 
favour received or expected, and not alone spiritual 
favours but temporal ; the donators in sending their offer- 
ings entreat the blessing of the Holy Father on ' some 
affair of great importance.'* One perceives that he is 

* March 23 — Marchioness Giulia. . . . presents to the Holy Father a 
gold ring with an ex-voto in order to obtain a special grace from St Joseph.' 


regarded as a person of influence, a sort of prime minister 
at the court of God. Frequently, his hierarchical position 
is distinctly marked; the supplicant recommends him- 
self first through Jesus Christ to God the Father, next 
through the Virgin or some saint to Jesus Christ, and 
finally through the Pope to the saints, the Virgin and Jesus 
Christ. These form the three degrees of celestial juris- 
liction ; the Pope seems to them to be the delegate of the 
sovereigns of the other world, with full powers to govern 
this one, all communications to be made through him, 
and he to endorse all demands. An Italian bigot still 
cherishes the ideas which Luther found prevalent three 
centuries ago ; he specifies and humanises all his religious 
conceptions; in his eyes God is a king, as in every 
monarchy, and access to him is only attainable through his 
ministers, and especially through his relatives, companions, 
and domestics. 

In this way the Virgin becomes of immense conse- 
quence ;* she is in reality the third person of the Trinity, 
and replaces the Holy Ghost, who, without corporeal form, 
escapes popular apprehension. To those who cannot imagine 

March 26 — * A Bon praying for the recovery of his mother offers the Holy 
Father ten francs, and ten francs more to the Madonna of Spoleto in order 
to obtain the grace demanded/ 

* Saint Liguori, edition of the Benedictines of Solesmes. 1834, Vol. L 
p. 495. 

'Would you know what passes in heaven? The Holy Virgin stands 
before her divine Son, and shows him the body in which she bore him for 
nine months, and her sacred bosom from which she so often nourished him* 
The Son stands before the Almighty Father, and shows him his open side, 
and the sacred wounds which he received in our behalf. At the sight of 
these sweet evidences of the love of his Son, God can refuse him nothing^ 
and we obtain everything. 

St. Liguori is the best accredited casuist of modern times ; he has besides 
written various spiritual treatises. I beg the reader to read his Regulation 
of a Christian Life, his Spiritual Policy, his Glories of Mary, and hi* 
Dogmatic Theology, the chapter De Matrimonio, and De Bestitutione, liv.iii, 
dubium ?i., articulus iv. 


celestial powers without faces, whose could be more attrac* 
tive and more merciful than a woman's ? And who, with so 
yjood a Son, can be more potent and more esteemed than a 
woman so beloved ? I have just glanced over the pages of 
' La Vergine,' a collection of articles in prose and verse^ 
published weekly, in honour of the Virgin Mary. The 
first article relates to the visit of the Virgin to Elizabeth, 
and the probable time the visit lasted ; at the end is n 
sonnet on the Angel who, finding the Virgin so charming, 
found it difficult to leave her to return to heaven. I 
have not the text at hand, but I can vouch for its sense, 
and this journal lies on every one's table. — I have just 
purchased a book which I have been recommended to 
read, called 'II Mese di Maria,' largely in circulation 
and which indicates the tone of devotion in Rome. It 
contains lessons for every day of the month of May, 
accompanied with prayers and services called ' flowers,* 
c garlands,' and * spiritual crowns.' Who can doubt that the 
Blessed Virgin, so generous, and magnanimous, will not, 
with so many crowns of glory at her disposal, reserve one 
for him who with unceasing constancy devotes himself to 
offering these crowns to her ? ' Here follow some lines and 
about thirty stories in support of the theory. A young 
person named Esquilio, only twelve years of age, led a 
very wicked and corrupt life. God, who wished to restore 
him to Himself, caused him to fall dangerously ill, so that 
despairing of his life, he hourly expected death. As he 
had lost all consciousness, and was supposed to be dead, 
he was taken into an apartment filled with fire , seeking 
to avoid the flames, he saw a door through which he 
passed, and following the passage, entered a hall in which 
he found the Queen of Heaven, w T ith innumerable saints 
who served as her retinue. Esquilio immediately pros- 
trated himself at her feet ; but regarding him coldly, she 
repelled him far from her, and commanded him to be eoi*« 


ducted back into the flames. The miserable youth im- 
plored the saints in his behalf, and to these Mary made 
answer, that Esquilio was a very wicked sinner, never 
having even repeated an Ave Maria. The saints again 
interposed, declaring that he had entirely reformed; 
Esquilio, meanwhile, full of terror, promises to sur- 
render himself wholly to the Holy Ghost, and be true to 
it as long as he should live. Then the Virgin, ad- 
ministering a severe reprimand, exhorts him to ensure 
the redemption of his sins by penitence, and to keep his 
promise ; after which she revoked the order which she 
had given to cast him into the flames. — Two young 
persons are taking a pleasure sail on the River Po ; one 
of them repeats the service of the Madonna, and the other 
refuses, stating that he now has a holiday.* The boat 
capsizes, and both invoke the Virgin ; she appears, and 
taking the hand of the former, says to the latter, c Since 
you do not think yourself obligated to honour me, I am 
not obligated to save you,' and he is drowned. — A young 
libertine had abstracted a pen used to register the names 
of believers admitted into the congregation of Mary ; he 
makes use of the pen to inscribe a billet-doux, and receives 
a slap on his cheek without seeing the hand that gave it, 
accompanied with these words, € Sinner, hast thou the 
audacity to pollute an instrument sacred to me ? * He 
falis to the ground, and his cheek remains sore for several 
days. — I pass others equally remarkable. Such are 
the narratives that nourish the minds of the women, and 
even of ladies of rank. They are told that when St. 
Theresa was interrupted in writing a letter, and got up to 
go into the garden, Jesus Christ came and finished it for 
her. Their husbands have received similar education, 
and an impression stamped in by education is never effaced, 
1 have seen some quite cultivated men who found no- 
thins* to reprehend in these books and narratives. More- 


over, many who seemed to be enlightened, simply follow 
the crowd. You express your surprise ; at first they reply 
that c we are compelled to it ; ' after a little intimacy they 
add, ' It does no harm, and may possibly do good. In 
case the priest enforce it, one may be on his guard.' 
Yesterday one of my friends smiled on learning that a 
lady of the company had departed on a journey to visit a 
Madonna whose eyes moved. A young officer present 
assumes a serious air, and tells him that he, with eight of 
his friends, had also made the journey, and they could 
testify that the eyes moved. One may go very far on 

this road. Countess N has two children, one of 

whom is placed under the protection of Notre Dame de 
Spoleto, and the other under Notre Dame de Vivalcaro, 
both of whom to her are two entirely different personages. 
In the vehement, positive imaginations of these people, a 
statue is not a symbol, but a living goddess. Finally, 
getting to have more confidence in Notre Dame de 
Vivalcaro she places both her children under her sole 

You may imagine from the foregoing the nature of the 
religion of the people. A coachman, employed by one of 
my friends, is run away with on descending the Pincio; 
he finds it impossible to stop the horses, and the first 
Madonna he sees he makes a vow. One of the horses 
cracks his skull against a wall, while the coachman is 
thrown upon a grated window, where he clings to the bars 
and escapes with a few scratches. He has two pictures 
painted in the shape of an ex-voto, one of which repre- 
sents him at the moment of making his vow, and the 
other when thrown against the grating. — A femme de 

chambre of the Countess N , took tickets in a 

lottery relying upon the protection of three saints ; she 
lost, and since that time no longer implores saints who 
have treated her so badly. — Minds of this class are so 


vividly impressed, they even invent superstitions outside 

of the official calendar; for example, N 's servant, a 

female, assures us that the Pope is jettatore ; if he is well 
and able to bestow the benediction at Easter, it will rain ; 
if he should be ill, the weather will be fine. — Ritual in- 
struction and catechisms naturally operate in the same 
sense, I entered a church one day and saw a priest 
engaged in instructing forty little girls of about seven or 
eight years of age : they looked about inquisitively with 
sparkling eyes, all whispering together like tiny little 
mice, and their roguish animated little heads in constant 
motion. With a mild paternal aspect he went from 
bench to bench, restraining his excited little flock with 
his hand, always repeating the word il diavolo* ( Be careful 
of the devil, my dear little children, the devil who is so 
wicked, the devil who devours your souls,' etc. Fifteen 
or twenty years from this, this word will surely arise in 
their minds, and along with it the horrible mouth, the 
sharp claws of the image, the burning flames, and so on. 
An attendant at the church of Aracoeli states, that during 
Lent the sermons turned entirely on fasting, and on for- 
bidden or permitted dishes ; the preacher gesticulates and 
walks about on a platform describing hell, and, immediately 
after, the various ways of preparing macaroni and codfish 
which are so numerous as to render flesh-eating gourmands 
quite inexcusable. Within a few days a sausage vender 
en the Corso arranged his hams in the shape of a 
sepulchre ; above it were lights and garlands, and in the 
interior a glass globe filled with gold-fishes.-- -The prin- 
ciple is to appeal to the senses. Unlike the German or 
Englishman, the Italian is not open to pure ideas ; he invo- 
luntarily incorporates them in palpable form ; the vague and 
abstract escape or repel him ; the structure of his mind im- 
poses definite forms on his conception, a strong relief, and 



this constant invasion of precise imagery, which formerly 
shaped his art, now shapes his religion. 

It is necessary to maintain this point of view, which is 
that of naturalists : all irritability disappears, the mind ia 
tranquillised ; one sees around him nothing but cause and 
effect; explained phenomena lose their repulsiveness, — at 
all events one ceases to dwell on them in contemplating 
productive forces which, like all natural forces, are in 
themselves innocent, whether employed for good or for evil. 
Even wrongs and violence are interesting ; one feels the 
curiosity of the physicist, who, as a student of electricity, 
comprehends a storm and forgets his damaged garden in 
verifying the exactness of laws by which he is prevented 
from eating a dessert of fruit. No three days pass that I 
do not read in the newspapers some terrific declamation 
against two celebrated authors of our day, one so brilliant, 
amiable, and lively, so French and so spirituel, that you 
forget to note his good sense, which is equal to his wit ; 
and the other, so broad and delicate, so rich in general 
ideas, so refined and so practical in the art of feeling and 
distinguishing delicate shades, so happily endowed, and 
so well instructed, that philosophy and erudition, the 
highest generalised conceptions, and the minutest literal 
philology are as Hebrew to him ; in brief, M. About, the 
author of ' La Question Romaine,' and M. Renan, the 
author of i La Vie cle Jesus.' Every three days they are 
declared to be the wickedest of sinners : one article that I 
have read entitled c Renan e il diavolo,' would prove that 
resemblances between these two personages are frequent. 
Nothing is more natural ; things passing through certain 
minds assume a certain colour; the laws of mental 
refraction require it, and they are not less powerful than 
those of physical refraction. A few days ago I witnessed 
a similar effect at the Capitol, relating to history such as 
it becomes after being elaborated, deformed, and expanded 


in the popular brain. Two French soldiers, contemplat- 
ing a Judith about to kill Holofernes, one says to the 
other, ' You see that woman there ? Well she is called 
Charlotte Corday, and that other is Marat, a man that 
kept her, and whom she assassinated in a bath tub. I 
must say those kept women are canaille I 9 

March 28. The Country. — We set out for Albano at 
eight o'clock in the morning, leaving Rome by the Piazza 
San Giovanni. It is the most beautiful in Rome ; I have 
already described it to you ; but I find it still more beau- 
tiful than before. After passing the gate you turn back 
to look and you have before you that facade of St. 
John Lateran which at the first glance seems exagge- 
rated ; at this early hour, however, in this grand silence, 
and amidst so many ruins and rural objects, it is no longer 
bo ; you find it as rich as it is imposing, the sun clothing its 
lofty groups of columns, its assembly of statues and solid 
gilded walls with the magnificence of a fete and the splen- 
dour of a triumph. 

Hedges are becoming green and the elms are budding, 
while at intervals a rosy peach or apricot tree looks as 
lustrous as a ball dress. The grand cupola of the sky is 
flooded with light. On the left the aqueduct of Sextus V., 
and then the ruined Claudian aqueduct, extend their 
long arcades across the plain, their arches defining them- 
selves with extraordinary clearness in the transparent at- 
mosphere. Three planes compose the landscape : a green 
plane illuminated with a shower of ardent rays ; the grave 
immutable line of aqueduct ; and beyond, the mountains 
in a delicate golden blue haze. Flocks of goats and long- 
horned cattle appear in the hollows and on the heights, 
conical roofs of shepherds' huts similar to the huts of 
savages, some herdsmen, their legs swathed in goats' 
skins and here and there, as far as the eye can see, soino 
ruin of an antique villa, or tomb crumbling away at its 

T 2 


base, or column crowned with ivy, the scattered remainSj 
apparently, of an immense city swept away by a deluge. 
Peasants with bright eyes and sallow complexions are 
striding across the fields to save steps. The relay-house 
is a tottering tenement, rusty and leprous, a sort of quie*, 
tomb where two men are stretched out wasting with fever 
You reach Aricoia by a superb bridge built by the 
Pope, the lofty arcades of which traverse a valley. B — — , 
who has travelled over the Roman States, says that 
works of art are not scarce and that the main roads are 
in excellent condition. Architecture and constructions 
constitute the pleasure of aged sovereigns. The self-love 
that impels a Pope to erect a church or a palace, to in- 
scribe his name and family arms on all restorations and 
embellishments, leads him to undertake important works 
like these that offer such a contrast to the general negli- 
gence surrounding them. Other evidences also indicate 
the presence of princely taste and of great aristocratic 
property. Some duke has planted broad avenues of elms 
stretching off a long distance beyond the village. The 
village itself belongs to Prince Chigi ; his villa at the end 
of the hedge so dark and time-worn, looks like a fortified 
castle. Below the bridge, his park spreads out covering 
the valley and extending up to the mountains. Distorted 
old trees and monstrous trunks creviced by age, and the 
ilex in all the splendour of its eternal youth dot the soil 
refreshed by the running streams. Grey and mossy tree 
tops everywhere commingle with green ones ; the bushes 
are already putting on their tender green, which, absent 
in some places, suggests to the mind a light veil caught 
up and withheld by the thorny fingers of surrounding 
branches. All these tints and tones, all these alternations 
of light and shadow, blend together with a charming 
variety and harmony. The spring soil has become mel- 
k)M and fruitful; one *& vaguely conscious of the insuba* 

tion of the living multitude that teem within its 
depths : frail sprouts peep through the bark ; green specks 
glisten in the air traversed and peopled by the flitting rays; 
flowers in brilliant attire already cluster together and ca- 
priciously deck the banks of the streams. What are 
marbles and monuments by the side of the beauties of 
nature ! 

We dine at Genzano and are obliged to purchase our 
meat ourselves, our host refusing to compromise himself. 
He informs us, however, where we may find a sausage 
shop. The inn here is a rude affair, a sort of stable sup- 
ported by a wide arcade. Mules and asses pass in and 
out alongside the table, their hoofs clattering on the pave- 
ment. Cobwebs hang to the black beams, while the light; 
enters from without in one great mass, filled with the 
swimming specks of dust within. There is no chimney ; 
our hostess cooks on a slab, the smoke from which diffuses 
itself throughout the apartment; the doors, however, front 
and rear, are open and afford us a current of air. I 
imagine that Don Quixote, three hundred years ago, must 
have found just such inns on the burning plains of La 
Mancha. Our chairs consist of wooden benches and our 
fare of eggs over and over again. Beggars stick to us 
with incredible importunity, following us even to our 
table. It is impossible to describe their rags and filthiness. 
One of them wears torn trowsers exposing both thighs 
hung round with tatters, while an old woman has on her 
head, in the shape of a hood, a dishclout which seems to 
have been used by a regiment for a foot mat. The side 
streets are the strangest of dirty holes, filled alternately 
with sharp stones and piles of ordure. The town, how- 
ever, possesses some fine structures, apparently of ancient 
date. My friends tell me that there are villages in the 
mountains, built in the fifteenth century, and so well 
built that three hundred years of decadence have 


not sufficed to impair or destroy the work of primitive 

We visited Lake Nemi, which is a cup of water lying 
at the bottom of a basin of mountains. It is not at all 
grand, any more than the Tiber ; its name constitutes its 
glory. The mountains that surround it have lost theii 
forests ; alone on the shores of the lake, huge platanes 
clinging to the rocks by their roots, display themselves 
half-reclining upon the water ; shapeless, crooked, gnarled 
old trunks reach out their white branches and dip them in 
the grey rippling surface ; not far off is a murmuring 
cluster of reeds ; periwinkles and anemones abound among 
the moss-covered roots, and through a labyrinth of 
branches appear the far slopes of the lake rendered blue 
by distance. A name, the ancient name of the lake, rises 
spontaneously to the lips, Speculum Diance, and one 
imagines it as it appeared in centuries of militant energy 
and sanguinary rites, encircled by vast dark forests, its 
silent shores deserted except when disturbed by belling 
stags or the thirsty deer that came to drink there ; the 
hunter, the mountaineer, who, from his crag, obtained 
glimpses of its motionless sombre gloss, felt his flesh crawl 
as if detected there by the bright fixed eye of the goddess 
on him ; at the bottom of the gorge, under the eternal 
pines and inviolate sanctity of time-worn oaks the lake 
shone tragic and chaste, and its metallic waves with its 
steel reflections formed the c Mirror of Diana.' 

On returning, after having mounted the sinuous back 
of the hill, the sea comes in sight flashing like a sur- 
face of molten silver. The interminable plain, faintly 
chequered with cultivation, extends as far as the shore, 
and there stops encircled by this luminous band. Then 
the eye follows avenues of aged oaks, between which are 
scattered clumps of box and the always bright little popu- 
lace of verdant shrubs ; one never tires of this immortal 


summer on which winter never lays his hand. All at 
once, beneath your feet, you see from the brow of a hill 
Lake Albano, a grand cup of blue water like that of 
Nemi, but wider and with more beautiful banks. In 
front, ard above the heights which form the cup, rises 
Monte Cavi, wild and red like an antediluvian monster, 
akin to the Alps and Pyrenees, the sole rugged eminence 
in the midst of mountains that seem designed by archi- 
tects, quaintly capped with its monastery, sometimes 
sombre under cloud shadows, sometimes suddenly lit up 
by rays of sunshine and smiling with wild gaiety ; — a 
little below it is Rocca di Papa, terraced on the side of 9 
neighbouring mountain, white like a line of battlements, 
its trenchant lines of overhanging houses cutting the 
threatening stormy sky ; — beneath is the lake far down in 
its leaden-hued crater, motionless and glittering like a 
plate of polished steel, here and there roughened by the 
breeze with imperceptible scales, strangely tranquil, slum- 
bering with profound mysteriousness under the silent tremor 
passing over it, and reflecting the indented margin and the 
rich crown of oaks eternally nourished by its freshness. — 
You raise your eyes and on the left is Castel-Gandolfo 
with its white houses, its round dome relieving on the sky, 
and sharp points bristling along the lengthened ridge of 
the mountain like white scales on a crocodile's back, and 
finally in the remote background, above the crags of 
the mountains the boundless Roman campagna, with mil- 
lions of spots and lines, drowned in a sea of mist and light. 
A Carthusian convent stands on the bank of the lake. 
Monks always choose their sites with remarkable taste, 
and a singularly noble poetic feeling. Perhaps the 
religious life, deprived of ordinary comforts, emancipates 
the soul from commonplace cares ; at all events such was 
the case formerly. Unfortunately, the horrible and the 
gross quickly establish themselves alongside of the noble. 


At the entrance is a grating, and behind this a quantity of 
skulls and bones of Carthusians, ornamented with appro- 
priate inscriptions. Figure to yourself the effect of all 
this on the imagination of a passing peasant. The head 
and the heart are both impressed, and the impression lasts 
for several hours. — Everything here is calculated to pro 
duce this sort of impression, for example, the service ill 
St. Peter's. The high altar is such a distance off that 
the assembly do not hear the words — I do not say com- 
prehend, for they are Latin ; this is of little moment, 
the effect of the majestic reverberation on the ear, and 
the glitter of gold vestments, and the imposing archi- 
tecture, amply suffice to excite commotion in the breast, 
and keep a man in a kneeling posture. 



March 26. — This evening a political discussion takes 
place, always the case at the end of a dessert after your 
coffee. On returning home I transcribed it. 

The principal interlocutor is a grave, handsome, young 
Italian, whose language is so distinct and harmonious that 
one might almost call it music. He is very animated on 
the question of the temporal power of the Pope, and to 
which I oppose some clerical arguments. ' You judge 
the Pope,' I remark, c you are losing your docility of 
mind and heart, and are becoming Protestant.' 

' By no means. We are Catholics, and will continufc 
bo ; we accept and maintain a superior authority on all 
matters of faith. We do not even deprive him of temporal 
1 power ; you cannot deprive people of what they have not, 
the Pope, in fact, no longer possessing it. If, for the past 
thirty years the Pope has ruled, it has been through 
Austrian or French bayonets ; never will he be more sub- 
ject to foreign pressure than he is at this moment. We 
have no desire to depose him, but to regulate a deposi- 
tion already accomplished. 

I resume, and urge the following. ' The principle of 
Catholicism is not alone a unity of faith, but a unity of 
the Church. Now, if the Pope becomes the citizen of a 
Particular state, whether Italian, French, Austrian, or 


Spanish, it is quite probable, that at the end of a century 
or two he will fall under the control of the government 
whose subject or guest he may happen to be, as formerly 
the Pope at Avignon under the King of France. Then, 
through jealousy or the necessity of independence, other 
states will create anti-popes, or at least distinct patriarchs 
like those of St. Petersburg or Constantinople, and 
schisms will arise, and you will no longer have a Catholic 
Church. — You will also cease to have an independent 
Church. A patriarch or pope subject to a prince becomes 
a functionary. This you now see at St. Petersburg ; such 
was the state of things in France under Philippe le Bel 
and Philippe VI. ; when Napoleon tried to establish the 
Pope at Paris, his object was to make him a minister of 
public worship highly honoured, but a very obedient one. 
Remark this, that the European governments, especially 
the French, interfere in every thing, what will it be if they 
add an interference with conscience? Liberty will 
perish, and Europe will become a Russia, a Roman empire, 
or a China. — Finally, religious dogma is in danger. To 
remove the Pope from the country, as you would transplant 
a root from a hothouse, is to deliver him over with all 
dogma to the action of modern principles. Catholicism 
being infallible is immutable ; its chief requires a dead 
country, subjects who do not think, a city of convents, 
museums, ruins, a tranquil poetic necropolis. Imagine an 
academy of sciences here, public lectures, legislative dis- 
cussions, flourishing manufactories, a stirring universal 
promulgation of laic morality and philosophy, do you 
suppose that the contagion would not extend to and 
embrace theology ? It would embrace it, and gradually 
temper it ; dogmas would be interpreted, and the most 
objectionable ones dropped ; they would cease to be 
Bpoken of. Look at France, so well disciplined and so 
obedient in the time of Bossuet ; simply through cnotact 


with a reflecting society Catholicism became moderate ; it 
cast off Italian traditions, questioned the Council of 
Trent, modified the adoration of images, allied itself to 
philosophy, and submitted to the ascendency of learned 
and rational, but believing laymen. What would become 
of the papacy amidst the license, the discoveries, and the 
seductions of contemporary civilisation. To displace or 
dethrone the Pope would in two centuries transform the 

He replies : ' So much the better. Alongside of 
superstitious Catholics there are true Catholics, to which 
class we belong ; let the Church reform and metamor- 
phose itself wisely, slowly, in contact with modern con- 
ceptions, and that is all we want. As to schisms, they 
threaten a protected Pope as much as a Pope dispossessed ; 
the power that keeps a garrison in Rome influences him 
to as great an extent as any potentate of whom he might 
be the subject or guest. If any plan exists guaranteeing 
his independence it is ours ; we will assign to him the 
right bank of the Tiber, St. Peter's, and Civita-Vecchia ; 
he can live by himself in a little oasis surrounded by a 
guard of honour, and supported by contributions from 
Catholic states, enjoying the respect and protection of all 
Europe. As to the dangers of combining spiritual and 
temporal power in the hands of any one prince, allow me 
to state that such is the case in Protestant countries, for 
instance, in England and that these countries are no less 
free. The conjunction of these two forces does not always 
produce servitude ; it consolidates it in some countries and 
does not implant it in others. Meanwhile allow us to 
repel it from ours where it establishes it. If there is 
peril in our plan it is for earselves and not for the Pope. 
Placed in the very heart of Italy, and irritated, he will 
beeome revolutionary and excite the people against us. 
But since we accept the danger leave to us all its hazards. 


and do not impose on us a regime which you reject for 

' What, then, is the nature of this transformation of the 
Catholic Church of which you have a glimpse in the ob- 
scurity of the future? '—Replies to this query are vague. 
My interlocutors assert that the upper class of Italian 
clergy contains a respectable body of liberals, even among 
the cardinals and especially outside of Rome. Among 
others they cite Dom Luigi Tosti, whose works I am ac- 
quainted with. This person is a Benedictine of Monte 
Cassino, very pious and liberal, a reader of modern philo- 
sophers, a student of the new exegesis, versed in history, 
and fond of speculation in higher regions, possessing a 
broad, conciliating, and generous mind, and whose rich 
poetic seductive eloquence is that of a Catholic George 
Sand. The clergy here is not as in France so wholly 
under military discipline ; only in France has the con- 
tagion of administrative rule spread into the Church.* 
Certain ecclesiastics in Italy occupy semi-independent 
positions; Dom Tosti in his cloister is like an Oxford 
professor in his fellowship ; he is at liberty to travel, read, 
think, and publish as he pleases. His aim is to place the 
Church in harmony with scientific development. Science, 
in his view of it, being simply decomposing, is not the only 
course : there is another as sure, the atto sintetico, an 
absorbing inspiration, a faith and natural enthusiasm by 
vhich the soul, unreasoning and unanalysing, discovers 
and comprehends, first God, and afterwards Christ. That 
ardent generous faith, through which we embrace beauty, 
goodness, and truth, in themselves and at their source, is 
alone capable of binding men together in a fraternal 
community and of pushing them on to noble deeds, devo- 
tion, and sacrifice. Now this community is the Catholic 

* ' Men Clerge est comme un regiment, il doit marcher, et il mar-jha 
Discourse of Cardinal de Bonneehose in the senate, session of 1865. 


Church % and therefore while maintaining its Gospel 
immutable it must accommodate itself to the variations of 
civil society ; it is able to do this since it contains in its 
bosom " an inexhaustible variety of forms." She is 
about to undergo a metamorphosis of this kind, but she 
will remain, in conformity with the essence of her being, 
€( the mistress of morals. " — What this metamorphosis is 
the foregoing does not define, and Father Tosti himself 
declares it to be a secret in the hands of God.' * 

Hereupon Count N - 3 who has a shrewd penetrat- 
ing Italian intellect, and whom I am beginning to under- 
stand and to love, withdrew me into an obscure corner. 
' These young people,' he remarks to me, ' are entering 
on the domain of poetry ; we will leave it. For the pre- 
sent put sympathy, patriotism, bitterness, and hopes to 
one side ; let us consider Catholicism as a fact, and en- 
deavour to estimate the forces which sustain it, and see 
in what sense and within what limits modern civilisation 
counteracts or reflects its action.' Thus stated, the question 
becomes a purely mechanical, moral, problem, and the 
following, in our view of it, are some conjectures, which 
one arrives at on this ground. 

The first of these forces is the supremacy of rites. 
Every savage and child, every uncultured mind, dull or 
imaginative, feels the need of constructing for itself a 
fetich, that is to say, of worshipping the sign instead of 
what it signifies ; they adapt their religion to their intelli- 
gence, and unable to comprehend simple ideas or incorporeal 
sentiments, consecrate palpable objects and a visible cere- 
mony. Such was religion in the middle ages; such is 
it still almost intact among Sabine shepherds and the 
peasants of Britanny. To them the finger of St. Ives, 
the cowl of St. Francis, a statue of St Anne or of tha 

* Prolegomeni alia storia universale della Chiewi. 


Madonna in a new embroidered dress is God ; a neuvaine, 
a fast, beads faithfully counted, a meda! reverently kissed, 
is piety. One degree higher a local saint, the Virgin, 
angels, the fears and hopes these excite 3 constitute religion. 
Two degrees higher the priest is regarded as a superior 
being, the depository of the Divine will and the dispenser 
of celestial grace. In Protestant countries all this has 
been done away with by the reformation of Luther ; it 
exists, modified, in Catholic countries, among the simple- 
minded, and especially amongst populatious noted for an 
ardent imagination and inability to read. This force dimi- 
nishes proportionately to the growth of intelligence and the 
diffusion of educational facilities ; in this respect Catholicism, 
feeling the pressure of modern civilisation, is casting off 
the idolatrous skin of the middle ages. In France, for ex- 
ample, ever since the seventeenth century this feature of 
worship and of faith has fallen into desuetude, at least, 
amongst the partially enlightened classes. Doubtless, 
something still remains and will always remain, but it ia 
an old garment becoming thinner and full of holes, and 
about worn out. 

The second of these forces is a fixed, formal, and com- 
plete course of metaphysics. In this respect Catholi- 
cism is at open war with experimental science, or, at all 
events, with its spirit, method, and philosophy. It may 
perhaps shift about and compromise and remain firm 
on certain points, asserting, for instance, that Moses 
anticipated the theory of luminous ether, because he 
makes light born before the sun ; and pretend that geolo- 
gical epochs are as good as indicated by the seven days of 
Genesis; and select its own position on unexplored 
grounds, in relation to complicated and difficult subjects, 
like spontaneous generation, cerebral functions, origin of 
languages, and the like ; but it invincibly repudiates the 
doctrine which subjects every affirmation to the test of 


repeated experiment and co-existing analogies, which 
poses as a principle the immutability of physical and 
moral laws, and which only reduces entities to convenient 
signs by which to note and to generalise facts. In short, 
it originated its metaphysics at a period of great mental 
exaltation and of unusual subtilty, when, everywhere, 
minds elevating triad upon triad, saw nature no longer but 
as an obscure stepping-stone invisible beneath lofty, inter- 
minable and magnificent stories of mystic and supernatural 
entities. This hostile attitude recognised, it must be re- 
marked that scientific discoveries and their application to 
daily life, their encroachments on unexplored domains, 
their ascendency over human opinions, their influence on 
education and habits of thought, their dominion in the 
realm of speculation and of general ideas, their force, in 
brief, is constantly increasing. The adversary, accord- 
ingly, is falling back ; Catholicism cannot, as Paganism 
in the times of Proclus and Porphyry, take refuge behind 
interpretations ; it cannot discard the thing and keep its 
name, and declare that it penetrates to the sense beyond 
the symbol, for within a century critical science has been 
born, and we are now too familiar with the past to have 
it confounded with the present; when Hegel, or any 
other conciliating authority, presents the philosophy of 
the nineteenth century as the heir and interpreter of the 
metaphysics of the third, he may interest scholars, but he 
only excites the smile of historians. Catholicism, there- ' 
fore, will be obliged to throw overboard its Alexandrine 
cargo the same as its feudal cargo ; it may not cast it 
into the sea on account of its conservatism, but it will let 
it rot in the hold, or in other words, it will rarely speak of 
it, and cease to display it, and bring forward other parts 
of itself into clearer light. This is what Protestantism 
formerly did openly and is now doing insensibly ; it 
rubbed off a barbarian rust under Luther, and is now, 


through a modern exegesis rubbing off a Byzantine rust 5 
after having emancipated Christianity from rites it is free- 
ing it from dogmatic formula, and it may be asserted that 
even in Catholic countries most of the people in society 
who are orthodox on the lips, but at bottom half-Arian, 
half-Unitarian, somewhat deistical, somewhat sceptical, 
tolerably indifferent, and the feeblest of theologians, 
would find, if they took the trouble to examine it rigidly, 
a vast difference between their Catholicism and medieval 
practices, between the entities of St. Sophia and those of 
the Serapion. 

All these are dead forces, that is to say, due to an ac- 
quired momentum, and which act only through the natural 
inertia of human matter. The following are the active 
forces, that is to say, incessantly renewed by fresh im- 
pulsions. In the first place Catholicism possessed a 
monarchical church, skilfully organised and the most 
powerful administrative machine ever set in motion, re- 
cruiting from above, standing alone, removed from lay 
intervention, a kind of moral police agency which labours 
by the side of governments to maintain order and obedi- 
ence. Under this heading, and besides as it is funda- 
mentally ascetic, that is to say, hostile to material 
pleasures, it may be considered as an excellent curb to a 
rebellious spirit and to the cravings of the senses. This 
i3 why every society threatened with theories like social- 
ism, or with ardent passions like those of contemporary 
democracy, every absolute or strongly-centralised govern- 
ment, sustains it in order to lean on it. The more rapid 
and universal the subversion of classes, the more do 
men's ambitions and appetites become feverish ; the greater 
the agitation by which the lower seeks to supplant the 
upper strata of society, the more does the Church seem 
to be a salutary and protective power. The more dis- 
ciplinable a people are, as in France, or inclined 01 


obliged, as in France and Austria, to entrust matters to 
external authority, the more Catholic is it. The esta- 
blishment of parliamentary or republican governments, 
the emancipation and initiative of the individual, un- 
doubtedly operate in a contrary sense, but it is not a sure 
thing that Europe is progressing towards this form of 
society, or at least wholly in that direction. If France 
remains what it has been for the last sixty years, 
and what it seems essentially to be, an administrative 
barracks well regulated and exempt from robbery, Ca- 
tholicism may yet exist for an indefinite period. 

The second active force is mysticism. Through Christ 
and the Virgin, through the theory and sacraments of 
love, Catholicism offers an aliment to all tender and 
dreamy imaginations, to all impassioned and unfortu- 
nate souls. On this side only has it developed itself for the 
last two centuries, through the adoration of the Virgin and 
the Sacred Heart, and quite recently in the proclamation 
of the latest dogma, that of the immaculate conception. 
The Benedictines of Solesmes, the editors of the works 
of St. Liguori, make startling admissions on this point.* 

* Preface to the complete edition, vol. i. 1834. St. Liguori 'is a neces- 
sary link of that wonderful chain prolonged to our time by means of which 
for three centuries earth and heaven have drawn nearer each other .... 
Christ confides new secrets to His church ; He daily instructs it in the in- 
commensurable mysteries of His heart .... The hearts of the friends of 
God are inspired with an unction unknown to the faith of early centuries. 
The adoration of the spouse has become tenderer; new endearments have 
been revealed .... With Catholics the mystery of the Eucharist is a com- 
plete religion, and especially for the last six centuries has this religion of 

the body of Christ attained to new developments The prerogatives 

of Mary, that incomparable Virgin, have been placed before us in a new 

light Inheritors of her love, we who see her interposing herself like 

a delicate cloud and delightfully tempering the ardour of the rays of the 
pun of which she is the dawn, we proclaim her the all-powerful mediatress 

of the human species Symbolised by the heart Christianity obtnins 

*he most perfect results from the law of grace on which it is founded. . . 
la this age of mercy the precepts of the Lord consist, so to say, simply, of die 



They declare that ancient theology was rigid, that the 
Church has received new light, that by a special revela- 
tion, she to-day brings divine goodness and mercy forward, 
that the dogma and sentiment of love have attained to 
the highest rank, that the infinite dignity overspreading 
the person of Mary at length provides an altar for be- 
lievers at which they may delightfully pour out all 
the delicacies of adoration. This is feminine and senti- 
mental poetry ; add to it that of the cult • to all the fluc- 
tuations of the century, to an epoch of important dissolu- 
tions of doctrine, these two poetic agencies rally all dis- 
heartened, morbid, and enthusiastic minds. Since the 
fall of antique civilisation the human machine has under- 
gone a great transformation ; the primitive equilibrium of 
healthy races, as maintained by the gymnastic system, 
has wholly disappeared. Man has become more sensitive ; 
the late and enormous increase of personal security and 
prosperity has only augmented his discontent and expan- 
ded his exactions and pretensions. The more man has 
the more he wants. Not only do his desires surpass his 
power to gratify them, but again the vague aspirations of 
his heart transcend the covetousness of his senses, the 
reveries of his imagination, and the curious questionings 
of his intellect. It is the beyond for which he longs, 
and the feverish tumult of capitals, the stimulants of 
literature, the exaggeration of an artificial sedentary 
and cerebal life, only augment the pain of his unsatis- 
fied desire. For eighty years music and poetry have 
been devoted to manifesting this malady of the age* 
while accumulations of knowledge, overstrained labour, 
the vastness of effort which modern science and democracy 
require, seem rather designed to inflame than to heal the 
wound. To spirits so eager and so wearied, a charming 

organic laws of love That repulsive Jansenism appeared with its rigid 

morality like its dogmas, and with its dogmas as repulsive as its morality.' 


quietism may sometimes seem a refuge ; we recognise this 
in our women who have our evils without possessing our 
remedies. In the lower classes, among very young girls, 
in the void of a provincial life, it may, through the seduc- 
tiveness of its worldly and coquettish poetry, and by a 
display of affecting corporeal symbols, win over many 
souls, and some day perhaps we shall see a divided family, 
leaving one-half of itself behind, seeking in ideal love 
the secret effusion, the soothing illusions, and the de- 
lightful anguish which terrestrial love does not afford it. 

Such, then, is the probable and, it may be said, the 
present transformation of Catholicism. To diminish its 
rites save for the simple, to let its metaphysics decline 
save in its schools, to bind together its administrative 
hierarchy, and to develope its sentimental doctrines, is 
what it has been concerned with since the Council of 
Trent. It seems as if its special business for the future 
was to address itself to governments and to women, to 
become repressive and mystical, to form leagues and 
to found e sacred hearts,' to be a political party and an 
asylum for the morbid. As the progress of the positive 
sciences and the condition of industrial well-being check 
the exaltation necessary to the establishment of a new 
religion one can see no limit to its duration ; never has a 
people abandoned its own religion except for one of a 
different character. Only one grand crisis for it can be 
detected on the horizon, and that in a century or two, 
namely, the intervention of the new Protestantism. That 
of Luther and Calvin, so rigid and literal, is repugnant 
to the Latin races ; that of Schleiermacher and Bunsen, 
softened and transformed by a new exegesis, accommo- 
dated to the demands of science and civilisation, inde- 
finitely expanded and purified, may become par excellence 
a moral, liberal, and philosophic religion, and win over 
even in Latin countries that superior class which, under 

z 2 


Voltaire and Rousseau adopted deism. If this battle is 
fought it will be one worthy of attention, for, between a 
philosophy and a religion it could not occur, each of the^e 
two plants having an independent and indestructible root ; 
but between two religions it wo^ld be another thing. 
Should Catholicism resist this attack, it seems to me that 
henceforth it will be safe from all others. Always will 
the difficulty of governing democracies secure it partisans ; 
always will the silent sufferings of the sad and the tender 
provide it with recruits ; always will the antiquity of pos- 
session preserve to it its faithful believers. These are its 
three roots, and experimental science does not reach them, 
for they are composed, not of science, but of sentiments 
and yearnings. They may be more or less ramified 
and more or less profound, but it does not seem that the 
modern spirit has any hold on them : on the contrary, in 
many minds and in certain countries the modern spirit 
introduces emotions and institutions which react on and 
consolidate them, and one day Macaulay declared in a 
sudden outburst of imaginative eloquence that Catholi- 
cism will subsist in South America, for example, when 
tourists from Australia will explore the ruins of Paris 
and London, to sketch the dismantled arches of London 
Bridge or the crumbled walls of the Pantheon. 



Palm Sunday. — For the last eight days the half of our 
time has been passed in St. Peter's. We witness a cere- 
mony and then sit down outside on the steps ; the square 
enclosed within its colonnade, spotted with moving human 
specks and traversed with silent processions, is of itself a 
spectacle. On the square in the beautiful broad sun- 
light, between glittering fountains, processions advance, 
monks in violet, red, and black cowls, pupils of the semi- 
naries, a mixed crowd of visitors, women in black veils, 
and soldiers, all intermingled and heaving like waves. 
The carriages of the monsignori arrive one by one, with 
a decoration of liveried coachmen and lackeys ; three stand 
behind, of which number two hang on the vehicle and the 
third hangs on to them. These domestics are quite 
important characters: look at them in the pictures of 
Heilbuth, consequential and tranquil, wearing old-looking 
new clothes, and new-looking old clothes, semi-beadle, 
semi-lackey, aware that they are brushing the cassock o 
a possible Pope, and that they are nearer heaven than 
other men, believing themselves tinctured with holiness 
and nevertheless looking closely to economies. As to the 
prelates their faces are full of finesse — not of that Parisian 
finesse which consists in a subtle and elegant wit, but an 
ecclesiastical and Italian finesse belonging to diplomats 


and advocates, that of people accustomed to self-control, 
to wily reserve, and non-committalism. Peasants lie sleep- 
ing on the steps, but it does not answer to approach too 
near them, as your nose warns you ; they have never 
washed themselves, and smell of the wild animal, All 
around on the balconies and on the doorsteps you per- 
ceive numbers of Roman grisettes, with their wavy black 
hair tastefully gathered up, and with regular well-defined 
features, the lips finely cut, the chin strong and eyes 
fixed. Sometimes one of these beautiful redoutable headl 
shows itself from a miserable dirty window ; you observe 
it there in the morning and again in the afternoon, the 
day having thus been passed in seeing and being seen. 

To a person of a religious temperament the spectacle in 
the interior of St. Peter's is not edifying. The soldiers 
of the papal guard yawn and turn round to ogle the 
women that pass them. During the mass the officiating 
parties circulate about talking in whispers or in a low voice, 
and as there are no benches or chairs to sit on, they try 
to support themselves against the columns, now resting on 
one foot, now on the other, and some of them going to sleep. 
You hear everywhere a continuous roar, a coming and 
going as in a public hall. You stretch yourself on tiptoe to 
see the Pope's Swiss guard pass wearing ruffs and motley 
costumes, and carrying the halberds of the sixteenth cen- 
tury; and next the apparitors, in black velvet doublets and 
Spanish cloaks, with gold chains, and the ruff also of the 
time of Philip II. At length the procession starts : 
every figure in white represents an apostle and holds a 
wand enwreathed w T ith yellow, figuring a palm branch ; 
others are in black, violet, and red, the bishops, the last 
of all, glittering in their damask copes ; many of them 
are smiling, talking, and carelessly looking about thein 
In the background, behind the great baldachino, you ob 
tain glimpses of genuflexions and postures, the remnants of 

ST. PETEKS. 843 

ancient symbolic ceremonies so little appropriate to present 
times. On the sides, in two vast balconies, stand women 
dressed in black, wearing black veils with a c Murray/ 
and an opera-glass in their hands. Complaints are heard of 
the incompleteness of the ceremony. The Pope has been 
attacked with erysipelas, and which, being opened, has 
discharged a good deal of water, and it is not certain that 
he can officiate at Easter ; — the medical details are related 
with considerable minuteness. Nobody expresses genuine 
interest or sympathy ; all that concerns the public is fhe 
loss of the principal actor whose absence impairs the effect 
of the representation. People converse and accost each 
other, and promenade as in the foyer of the opera. And 
this is all that remains of the glorious pompous ceremonies 
of the times of Pope Boniface VIII. which attracted pil- 
grims by hundreds of thousands : nothing but a deco- 
ration that is a decoration no longer, an empty cere- 
monial, an object for archaeologists to study, a picture for 
artists, a curiosity for idlers, a mass of rites to which every 
century has contributed something, similar to the city 
itself where living faith and the spontaneous emotion 
of the heart find no longer corresponding objects, but 
where painters, antiquaries, and tourists congregate. 

From a picturesque point of view the effect is quite 
otherwise. Thus filled and measured by the crowd 
the church becomes colossal ; the moving, waving swarm 
of people gives it the animation of a painting. The 
light streaming in from the dome amidst all this marble 
seems to be a shower of rays of dazzling splendour. 
The great baldachino sending up its dark spiral columna 
amongst clouds of incense, the vague harmony of the musio 
softened by distance, the magnificence of marbles and of 
decorations, the crowds of statues apparently moving in the 
shadowy indistinctness, the assemblage and concord of so 
many monumental forms and grand round lines, all 


contribute to render it a fete, a song of triumph and of 
rejoicing. I should like to hear the Prayer from Rossini's 
Moise sung here by three hundred voices, accompanied 
by a suitable orchestra. 

The Miserere at the Sistine chapel. — Myself and every 
other man standing for three hours. The first two hours 
pass and many, able to stand no longer, withdraw. Bodies 
are jammed together as if in a vice. Faces, too, are so 
red and yellow and wrinkled that you are reminded of 
the damned in Michael Angelo's fresco. Your feet and 
calves, and loins all seem to collapse. Fortunate are 
those who find a column to lean against ! Several strive 
to get at their handkerchiefs to wipe off the perspiration 
from their foreheads, while others fruitlessly try to raise 
their hats. You can see nothing but a forest of heads. 
The crowd push against the door, and now and then some 
official bursts through painfully making his way, thanks 
to the shoulders of the acolytes, like an iron wedge pene- 
trating a piece of wood. Under the tribunes at the 
entrance, in a sort of cage, the ladies are seated on their 
heels, breathing aromatic vinegar. Here and there a 
Swiss guard in white plumes and fancy costume t urns his 
broad feet to account and props himself up on his halberd. 
Meanwhile the monotonous drone of the psalms con- 

This does not prevent Michael Angelo's figures from 
appearing like giants and heroes. Oh, if I could only 
throw myself on my back to look at those prophets ! 
What valiant trunks, what magnificent primitive bodies, 
those of Adam and Eve I And that terrible figure of 
Christ the judge ! What an avenging Apollo, what 
a sublime Jupiter the Thunderer ! With what an air of 
a victorious combatant does he assail the figures of his 
falling enemies. Everything here is derived from the 
antique. When Bramante conceived St. Peter's he 


borrowed his two ideas from the Pantheon and the 
Basilica of Constantine. The two ages meet. 

At length comes the Kyrie and then the Miserere. 
This is worth all the pains in the knees and loins one 
Buffers in order to hear it. It is a remarkably strange 
production ; there are prolonged chords in it which seem 
false, and which affect the ear with a sensation analogous 
to that of an acid fruit in the mouth. There is no pure 
melody or rhythmic chant ; it consists of a commingling 
and conflict of tones, long strains, and vague plaintive 
voices resembling those of an JEolian harp, or the shrill 
lamentations of the wind through trees and other innumer- 
able mournful and sweet sounds of nature. Nothing can 
be grander and more original; the musical age which 
produced such a mass is separated from ours by an 
immense gulf. This music is unlimited in its tenderness 
and resignation, being much more sad than any modern 
production ; it issues from a religious and delicate soul ; it 
might have been written in some convent lost in the depths 
of a solitude, after long and vague reveries amongst the 
whisperings and sighings of the wind weeping in melodies 
around the rocks. I must not fail to hear the Miserere 
of to-morrow. One is by Palestrina and the other by 
Allegri. What a fund of strange profound sentiments ! 
Such is the music of the Catholic restoration as the 
new spirit developed it on reconstructing the middle ages. 

Thursday. — Yesterday and to-day I have been looking 
over the two volumes by Baini on Palestrina. He was 
a pious man, a friend of St. Philip of Neri, the son of 
poor parents, poor during his whole life, living on a 
pension of six and afterwards nine crowns a month, always 
in want of money to publish his works, unfortunate and 
of tender feelings, having lost three sons of the greatest 
promise and writing his lamentations in the midst of a 
keen and prolonged chagrin. At this epoch, under him 


and Goudimel his master, music, half a century after th* 
other arts, issues from the slough of the middle ages, 
The sacred chant had become incrusted with scholastic 
rust, and overlain with every kind of difficulty, compli- 
cation, and extravagance ; the notes when referring to 
fields and herbage being green, red when treating of 
blood and sacrifices, and black when the text mentions 
death and the grave, each party singing different words, 
and frequently songs of a worldly type. The composer 
selected a gay or licentious air — ' V Homme arme? or 
' VAmi Baudichon, madame ' ; and with this, through the 
many subtleties and vagaries of counterpoint, composed a 
mass. Pedantry and license, the mechanical regimen of 
the middle ages, had degraded and confused the mind in 
music as in litepature, and produced poets in the fifteenth 
century as affected and insipid as its musicians.* The 
religious sentiment reappeared, protestant with Luther 
and catholic with the Council of Trent. Amono* the 
protestants, Goudimel, a martyr of St. Bartholomew, gave 
the music of the heroic hjmns of the stake and the 
battle-field ; among the Catholics, Palestrina, invited by 
the Pope, gave the vague and vast harmonies of the 
mystic desolation and supplications of an entire people, 
infantile and melancholy, prostrate beneath the hand of 

These two Miserere are above and perhaps beyond all 
nmsic to which I ever listened ; previous to acquaintance 
with these one could only imagine such sweetness and 
melancholy, such strangeness and sublimity. Three 
points are very striking : — discords abound sometimes so 
as to produce what in ears like ours, accustomed to agree- 
able sensations, we call false votes ; — the parts are 
multiplied in an extraordinary degree, so that the same 

* See Lydgate, Occleve, Hawes in England, Brandt in German/. Charlei 
cf Orleans, and the poesy of Froissard in Franca 


chord contains three or four harmonies and two or three 
discords, all constantly decomposed and recomposed in its 
various portions ; some voice at every instant is heard 
detaching itself through its own theme, the aggregate num- 
ber being so well distributed that the harmony seems an 
effectof chance, like the lowandintermittent conceit of rural 
harmonies ; — the continuous tone is that of a plaintive 
ecstatic prayer, ever persistent, or unweariedly recurring 
without regard to symmetrical chant or ordinary rhythm ; 
an indefatigable aspiration of the suffering heart which 
can and will find rest only in God, the ever-renewed 
yearnings of captive spirits sinking to their native dust 
through their own burden, the prolonged sighs of an in- 
finite number of loving, tender, unhappy souls, never 
discouraged in adoring and in worshipping. 

The spectacle is as admirable for the eye as for the ear. 
Tapers are extinguished one by one, the vestibule grows 
dark, the grand figures of the frescoes move obscurely in 
shadow. You advance a few paces, and stand before the 
Pauline chapel, radiant like the paradise of angels, with 
halos, lights, and incense. Story upon story of tapers 
ascend above the altar like a glorious shrine, while lustres 
descend expanding their gilded arabesques, their fountains 
of sparks, their glittering splendour, and their diamond 
plumes like the mystic birds of Dante. Scales of jet flood 
the sanctuary with flashing brightness, and the twining 
columns wind their blue spiral shafts up among the 
charming forms of angels, surrounded by rolling clouds of 
incense and an atmosphere of exquisite perfumes. All 
the dazzling and fairy-like splendour of this delicious fete 
is the work of Bernini ; his Saint Theresa of the Chiesa 
Jella Vittoria contemplates all this in her swoon, and it 
is here that she ought to be. 

Meanwhile, in St. Peter's, between two files of soldiery, 
you see a procession advancing to perform the ceremony 


of washing the feet. First come the monsignori, with theii 
spirituelle physiognomies, then the cardinals in purple, 
with red hats in their hands, followed by their acolytes, 
then chanoines dressed in bright red, and finally the 
twelve apostles in blue, wearing a singular white hat and 
carrying a bouquet in their hands. Elsewhere in a hospital 
are Roman ladies in black robes, and in the white aprons 
of nuns doing the same service. Here three or four 
hundred peasants are received for the fete ; ladies of the 
highest rank, princesses, wash their feet, clothe them, 
feed them, and put them to bed. This furnishes an outlet 
for the violent and intermittent desire for Christian 
emotion and humiliation. 





Good Friday. — A third Miserere, a little inferior to the 
preceding, and, again to-day the Pauline chapel without 
its illuminations, is ■ ridiculous ; you discover that the 
blue columns and most of its gilding is simply deception. 
Michael Angelo's last two frescoes, ' The Crucifixion of 
St. Peter ' and f St. Paul stricken to the ground - are only 
technically admirable. 

In the basilica of St. Peter a cardinal with two red caps 
is seated five steps above the floor, on a carved chair of 
dark wood and holding in his hand a long wand with which 
he touches the skulls of kneeling penitents : the touch 
gives special indulgences. The cardinal is sixty years of 
age, big and dressed in purple, and his gravity is admirable ; 
not a muscle of his face stirs ; he might be taken 
for a majestic hieratic Bouddha. From time to time a 
file of black capuchins pass, and one stops to contemplate 
among these hooded inquisitors this or that cardinal 
with a long yellow face and black penetrating eyes, a 
sort of Ximenes without position. The crowd around 
presses here and there, and waves like the billows: 
but the church is so vast that conversations and the 

huffling of feet are deadened and swallowed up in one vast 

This visit of to-day is perhaps one of my last; I will 


try to review the ensemble of the edifice. By degree* 
the eye becomes accustomed to it ; you take the work for 
what it is, such as its founders conceived it ; you do not 
regard it as a Christian but as an artist. It is no longer 
a church, but a monument, and from this point of view 
is assuredly one of man's masterpieces. 

The Sistine stairway with its garlanded arch and the 
long development of its descent is incomparably noble 
and well proportioned. St. Peter's is similar to it, ornate 
without being overcharged, grand without enormity, and 
majestic without being overwhelming. You enjoy the 
simple rotundity of the arches and cupola, their amplitude 
and solidity, their richness and their strength. These 
gilded compartments that border the great vault, those 
marble angels seated on its curves, that superb baldachino 
of bronze supported by its spiral columns, those pompous 
mausoleums of the Popes, form altogether a unique 
combination ; never was there a more magnificent pagan 
fete offered to a Christian God. 

What is the God of this temple? At the back of the 
apsis, above the altar, on the spot ordinarily appropriated 
to the Virgin or to Christ, is the chair of St. Peter ; it is 
this which is the patron and sovereign of the place. 
Official terms complete its meaning ; the Pope is called 
His Holiness, The Blessed Father ; they appear to regard 
him as already in paradise. 

Almost all the mausoleums of the Popes are imposing, 
and especially that of Paul III. by Delia Porta. Two 
figures of Virtues, half-reclining on his tomb, display 
their beautiful forms in bold attitudes ; the elder dreams 
with proud, superb gravity ; the younger has the rich 
beauty, the sensual and spirituelle head, the waving tresses, 
and the delicate ear of the Venetian figures. She waa 
once almost nude, but has since been draped ; this 
passage of the sculpture of nature to the sculpture of 


decency marks the change which separates the Renais- 
sance from Jesuitism.* 

I do not know why Stendhal so highly praises the 
mausoleum of Clement III. by Canova ; its figures are 
like those by Girodet or Guerin, insipid or attitudinising. 
In this respect, recent tombs are instructive. The more 
a monument approaches our time the more do its statues 
assume a spiritualistic and pensive expression ; the head 
usurps all the attention ; the body is reduced, veiled, and 
becomes accessory and insignificant. 

For example, consider in turn the tomb of Benedict 
XIV. who died in the last century, and by its side the 
mausoleums of Pius VII. and Gregory XVI ; on the 
former are seated or in action beautiful female figures, 
still healthy and strong, well posed and animated; on 
the other two the Virtues consist of carefully rasped, 
draped, and interesting skeletons. We shall finally end 
in no longer appreciating form or substance, but simply 
spirit and expression. 

Easter Sunday. — The weather has changed for the 
worse, the rain falls in sudden showers ; but the crowd 
is spread all over, in the square, on the staircases, in 
the porticoes, engulphing itself with a prolonged mur- 
mur in the immensity of the basilica. 

In this human ocean the slow undulating billows 
gradually form and break ; before the statue of St. Peter 
the flood advances and recedes under the reflux of pre* 
ceding waves. Pushing and crowding every moment 
augments or decreases the disorderly movement of this 
mass; a tumultuous and noisy confusion of steps, of 
rustling robes, and of words rumbling among the grand 
walls, while aloft, above this agitation and murmur, one 

* The complaints of a celebrated French Catholic have lately led to A 
recrudescence of modesty ; 35000 francs have been laid out in sheet-iroi 
•hirts for the angels and saints. 

852 HOLT T7EEK. 

perceives the peaceful vaulted spaces, the luminous void ol 
the domes and the stories of borderings, ornaments, and 
statues superposed one above another and filling the wind* 
ing abyss of the cupola. 

In this sea of bodies and heads a double dyke of soldiers, 
chanters, and choir-boys form a bed in which flows the 
solemn and pompous retinue ; first are the gar da nobile, 
red and black and wearing casques: then red chamberlains ; 
farther on prelates in purple, then masters of ceremonies 
in pourpoints and black mantles, alter these the cardinals, 
and last the sovereign pontiff borne by acolytes in a chair 
of red velvet embroidered with gold, wearing a long 
white robe worked with gold, and on his head the 
triple golden tiara. Fans of the plumes of ostriches 
wave around him. He has a benevolent, affectionate 
expression; his fine pale countenance is that of an invalid ; 
you think with regret how much he must suffer just at 
this moment with his leg wrapped in bandages. The 
benediction is quietly given with a gentle smile. 

The soldiers and the chanters were talking gaily an 
instant before his passage ; a moment after a trumpet 
in the apsis plays an operatic air, and two or three of the 
soldiers begin to hum, keeping time in harmony ; but the 
people, the peasants, look as if they were gazing on God 
the Father. You ought to see their faces and those 
especially around the statue of St. Peter. They flock 
around it by turns, almost stifling themselves in order to 
kiss its bronze foot, now nearly worn away ; they caress it, 
pressing then.' brows against it ; many of them have come 
on foot from a distance of ten or twelve miles ignorant of 
where they are to pass the night Some, rendered dr jwsy 
by the change of air, sleep standing against a pilaster, 
and their wives push them with their elbows. Several 
possess the Roman heads of the statues, the low brow, 
angular features, hard and sombre expression ; others 


the regular visage, ample beard, warm glowing colour, 
and naturally crisp locks visible in paintings of the 
Renaissance epoch. You could not imagine a more 
vigorous and more uncultivated race. They wear a 
strange costume — old sheep or goat skin mantles, leather 
leggings, blue vests a hundred times soaked with rain, 
and sandals of hide as in primitive times ; the odour from 
all this is insupportable. Their eyes are fixed and as 
brilliant as those of an animal ; still more brilliant than 
these and more wild glow those of the women, yellow and 
sunken through fever. They resort here impelled by a 
vague sentiment of fear similar to that of the ancient 
Latins, in order not to provoke an unknown and dangerous 
power that might visit upon them at will a pestilence or 
tornado, and they kiss the toe of the statue as seriously 
is an Asiatic bringing a tribute to a pacha. 

The reverberation of the mass is heard half lost in the 
distance, and the grand forms shrouded in incense add 
their nobleness and gravity to its mysterious harmony. 
What a mighty lord, what a splendid idol, the master of this 
church is to these peasants ! In order to comprehend the 
impression which all this splendour, all these marbles and 
gilding make on their minds, think of their smoky hovels, 
their desolate campagna — of their rugged fire-wracked 
mountains and black lakes, of the stifling heat of their 
feverish summers, of the mute uneasy dreams swarming 
through the brains of shepherds during lonely hours or 
when night, with its retinue of lugubrious forms, has 
weighed them down upon the plain ! A lurid sky like that 
cf yesterday, afar on the livid plain, and the gloomy 
vapour, make one shudder. The implacable midday sun 
in a rocky hollow or near the putrefaction of a marsh, 
gives one a vertigo. We know by the ancient Romans 
what a hold superstition had on man among these stagnant 
pools, these sulphurous wastes, these shattered mountains, 

A A 


and these metallic lakes, and the peasants we now see 
have no healthier or more cultivated or more collected 
minds than the soldiers of Papirius. 

The crowd pass out and await the Pope, who is to appeal 
on the grand balcony of St. Peter's and bestow the 
benediction. The rain increases, and as far as the eye 
can see on the piazza, in the street, and on the terraces, 
the multitude swarms and is heaped up, — cavalry, infantry, 
carriages, pedestrians under umbrellas, with peasants 
dripping under their sheepskin coverings. They herd 
together by families, gaze, and eat their lupines; that 
which astonishes them the most is the uniforms and 
the long columns of French troops. Their children, in. 
sheepskins and clinging to the pillars, seem to be a troop 
of wild colts. 

The balcony remains empty ; the Pope is too ill and 
unable to finish the ceremony. The crowd disperses in 
the rain and in the mud. As the people say, the Pope is 
decidedly jettatore ; we have this bad weather because 
he could only accomplish the half of the ceremony. 

Here, after fourteen centuries is the finale of Roman 
pomp, for it is veritably the ancient Roman empire which 
here lives and still endures. It sunk into the earth 
under the heavy blows of the barbarians, but with the 
universal rejuvenescence it reappeared in a new form, 
a spiritual and no longer a temporal form. The entire 
history of Italy is contained foreshortened, in a single 
word — it has remained too Latin. The Heruli, the Ostro- 
goths, the Lombards, the Franks did not plant themselves 
well, or did not sufficiently dominate ; she was not German- 
ised like the rest of Europe, she found herself in the tenth 
century about as she was three hundred years before 
Christ, municipal and not feudal, ignorant of that vassal 
fidelity and that soldier's honour which fashioned the great 
states and peaceful communities of modern times surren- 


dered like antique cities to mutual hatred, to intestine com- 
motion, to republican seditions, to local tyrannies, to the 
right of force, and hence to the reign of private violence, 
to oblivion of a military spirit, and to the ways of the 
assassin. When a central power threatened to establish 
itself the Pope stirred up the municipal forces against it ; 
Lombards, Hohenstaufen of the north, Hohenstaufen of 
the south, he destroyed them all ; the spiritual sovereign 
could not tolerate a great lay monarch by his side, and in 
order to remain independent he prevented the nation from 
organising. This is why in the sixteenth century whilst, 
throughout Europe, society, expanded and transformed, 
modelled and raised up regular monarchies side by side 
with each other, supported by the courage of subjects, and 
organising governments upheld by the practice of justice, 
Italy, divided into petty tyrannies and parcelled into 
feeble republics, debased in its morals and emasculated in 
its instincts, found itself shut up within the narrow bounds 
of antique civilisation under the impotent patronage of a 
spiritual Csesar who had prevented her union without 
being capable of protecting her. She was invaded, 
pillaged, dismembered, and sold. In this world whoever is 
feeble becomes the prey of others ; he who to-day neglects 
to manufacture rifled cannon and ironclads will to-morrow 
be protected and spared, the day after, a stepping-stone to 
tramp over, and the day after that a booty to be consumed. 
If Italy for three centuries subsided into decay and 
servitude it is because she did not repudiate municipal 
and Roman traditions. She is casting them off at this 
moment ; she comprehends that in order to maintain herself 
erect by the side of great military monarchies, she herself 
must become a great military monarchy ; that the old 
Latin system has produced and prolonged her weakness ; 
that in the world as it now is, an assemblage of petty 
States, blessed and manoeuvred by a cosmopolite prince, 


belongs to its powerful neighbours desirous of making use 
of it or of taking possession of it. She recognises that 
the two prerogatives which constitute her pride are the 
two sources whence flow her misery ; that municipal 
independence and pontifical sovereignty, emancipative in 
the middle ages, are pernicious in modern times ; that the 
institutions which protected her against the invaders of 
the thirteenth century delivered her over to the invaders 
of the nineteenth ; that if she no longer desires to remain 
a promenade for the idle, a spectacle for the curious, a 
seminary of chanters, a salon for sigisbes, an antichamber 
for parasites, she must become an army of soldiers, a 
corporation of manufacturers, a laboratory for savants, and 
a people of labourers. In this transformation, so vast, she 
finds her stimulus in the souvenir of past evils and in the 
contagion of European civilisation. And this i* much : if 
it sufficient ? 


N. B. The author tallowed no particular system in the spelling of names— 
lometimes using the Italian, sometimes the French, sometimes the Latin. They 
have been indexed as he gave them, and an effort has sometimes been made to fa- 
cilitate finding them by cross-references. 

Where the term " Saint" is part of the name of a locality or work of art, the name 
has been indexed under "Saint ;" or, sometimes, owing to the fact mentioned in 
the last paragraph, under "'San" or "Santa" But where a personal "Saint" is 
alluded to, the place in the index is determined by the personal name. 

The names of works of art or literature are included between inverted commas ; 
6. #., 'Adone.' These are not only indexed independently, but also referred to in 
order, under the names of their creators. 

About, Edmond, 322 

Academy of St. Luke, 166 

Achilles, Sarcophagus representing his 
story, 112-13 

Addison, 244 

'Adone' of Marini, 257 

'Adam and Eve,' by Domenichino, 230, 
250 ; by Michael Angelo, 191 

Agrippa, 133 

Agrippina, Statue of, 59 

Aldobrandi, Bertino, 175 

Aldobrandini, 207 

Alexander VI., 177, 185 

Alexander the Great, 122 

Allegri, 345 

Alfieri, 11 

Altar in the Gesu of St. Ignatius, 241-2 

'Aniphion and Zethes,' 58 

Amphitheatres, one at Baise, 36; Gen- 
eral remarks on, 37 ; at Pompeii, 51 ; 
Circus Maximus, 134 ; Marcellus's, 135 ; 
(See Colosseum.) 

Ancient Civilization — Characteristics, 
47-8 ; Controlling Ideas, founded on 
Physical Perfection and Municipal As- 
sociation, 53 

Andrea Doria, Portrait of, by Sebastian 
del Piombo, 226 

♦Andromeda,' by Guido, 232 

'Antinous,' Statue of in ti.e Capitol, 111 ; 
at Villa Albano, 201 

Antonine's Column, 17 ; Statue, 59 

Antoine, Marc, 154 

'Apollo Belvedere,' 129 

'Apostles,' by Bernini, 262-3 

Aracceli, Church of, 109 

A rchitecture— Effects of Good, and Illus- 
trations, 14; Two Orders, 15; Fres- 
coes, in connection with, 144 

Aretino, 146, 159 

Aristophanes, 108, 112, 124, 159 

Aristotle, 76 ; Bust of, 114 

Ariccia, 324 

Arpiuo, Chevalier d\ 32, 95 

Art, Christian and Pagan compared, 56, 
57, 58 ; Decline of; 116 ; Motive of Ital- 

ian, 140; Ancient and Modern Require* 
ments, 146-7; Modern in Rome, 971 ; 
Taste at end of Sixteenth Century, 296 \ 
Modern Etherealization, 351-53 

'Assumption,' by Guido, 269 

Augustine, St., 9, 77 ; his Arm sold, 254 

Augustus, 115, 133 

Aurelius (Marcus), Statues of, 59, 110 

'Aurora,' by Guercino, 206; by Guida 
206, 232 

Avignon, 36. 


Baiae, 35, 36 

Baini, 345 

'Bacchanals, 1 by Giulio Romano SOI 

Balba Family, Statue of, 59 

'Baldacchino'' in St. Peters, 350 

Bandello, Bishop, 177-8 

Bandinelli, Baccio, 180-1 

Barbarian kings, statues of, 110 

Barberini, Piazza, 100 ; Family fa-vored by 
Urban VIII., 208 ; feuds with the Far- 
nese, 211 

Bartolomeo, Fra, 165 

Basilica of Santa Crose, 2^4; of Constan- 
tine, 18 

Bassan, 95 

Baths, (See Caracalla, Mocletian, Pom 

'Battle of Constantine,' by Raphael, 140-3 

Beggars on the road to Naples, 20 

Beethoven, 186 

Benedetto, 175 

Benedictines of Solesmes, 337-8 

Benedict XIV., Tomb of, 351 

'Benevolence,' painted by Luca Giorda- 
no, 96 

Berni, 177-8 

Bernini, 16, 255, 258, 261, 347 ; Madonna, 
31; St. Theresa, 247; Apostles, 262, 
263 ; Pluto bearing off Proserpine, 205 

Bolognese, 148 ; their School of Art, 22C 

Boniface VIII., 343 

Borges, General, 63 

Borghese, 207 

Borgia, Caesar, 147-8, 171, 184 5; Luci» 



tia, 180; Her Portrait, by Paul Vero- 
nese. 168-9 

Borromeo, St. Charles, 178 

Bourbons, 67-8 

Biamante, 15 344-5, 155 

4 Brazen Serpent,' by Michael Angelo, 192 

Bridge of St. Angelo, 16 

Brigands, 65, 67-8. 

Bronconi Confraternity, 180 

Bronzino, 226 

Brasses, De, quoted, 212, 216 

Bunsen, 339 

Burchard, 148 


Caesar's Palace, 117 : Statue, 110 

Cafe Greco, 99 

Cagnacci, 'Lucretia and Sextos, 1 168-3 

'Calandra,' la, 185 

'Callisto,' by Titian, 167-8 

Oampagna of Rome, 7 

Camuccini, 271 

'Canephora' at the entrance of Braccio 
Nuovo, 124 

Canova, 128, 351 

Capitol at Rome, 108-10 

Capri, 41 

Capua, 89 

Capuchin Convent, 249; Subterranean 
Chapel, 251 

Caracci, 227; Pieta, 226; Christ, 226 

Caracalla, Bust of, 115 ; Baths, 134-8 

Caravaggio, 32, 148,233; 'Entombment,' 

•Cardinal,' A, by Domenichino, 201 

Cardinals, 284 

Cartoons by Raphael, 143 

Carthusian Monastery, 62; Convent on 
Lake Albano, 327-8 ; Cloister, 253-4 

Caryatides of Hall of Heliodorus, 156-7 

Casanova, 213-14 

Casa Nuova, 48 

Castellamare, 39, 40 

Castiglione, quoted, 171 

Castle of St. Angelo, 130 

Castel-Gandolfo, 327 

Cato of Utica, Bust of, 114 

Cellini, 96, 146, 174, 178 

♦Cenci,' by Guido, 233 

Chapel, near San Giovanni in Laterano, 

'Chartreuse' of Naples, 95 

Chiaja, 24 

Chigi, Prince, and his Villa, 324 

'Christ,' by Correggio, 163 

Christianity (impression of) in Rome, 252 

Churches of Rome, 234-5, 237 

Cicero, Villa of, 296 

Cigoli, 261 

Circus Maximus, 134 

Civilization; (See Education, Politics, 
Religion, Society.) 

Civita vecchia, 4 

Claudian Aqueduct, 323 

Clement VIII., 207 

Clement XII., Ill 

Colosseum, 8-10; Its capacity, 9; An- 
cient Shows in, 9 ; Cross in the Arena, 
12; View from Arcades of, 12; At 
Night, 19 

Oolonna and Orsini, Feuds of the, 172 

'Communion of St. Jerome,* by Do 

menichino, 164 
Commodus, Bust of, 115 
Confession and Communion, Trade in, 

'Conflagration of Borgo,' by Raphael, 144 
'Consecration of the Church,' 96 
Corbulo, Bust of, 114 
Correggio, 148 ; Picture of Christ, 163 
Corsica, 3 

Cosimo, Piero di, 180 
Cotton cultivation, 72, 74 
Council of Trent, 240 
'Crucifixion of St. Peter,* by Mich»a 

Angelo, 349 


'Danae, 1 by Titian, &> 

Dante, 186, 188 

Death, Ancients' Idea of, 52 

Decamps, 63 

Degeneracy of the Sixteenth Century. 

Delacroix, 63, 152, 166 

'Delphica,' by Michael Angelo, 194 

Democracy, Roots of, 340 

Demosthenes, Bust of, 114 

'Descent from the Cross,' by Ribera, 32-3 
by Raphael, 152 ; by Daniele da Volte* 
ra, 266 

Descent of La Courtille, 182 

Detken's Book Store, 77 

'Diana's Chase,' by Domenichino, 229-30 

Diocletian, Baths of, 138; Library at 
Baths, 252 

'Discobolus,' 120, 122-3 

'Doge,' by Titian, 163 

Domenichino— Communion of St. Jt 
rome, 164 ; Cardinal, 201 ; ' Diana's 
Chase,' 229-30; Adam and Eve, 230; 
Eve, 231 ; Triumph of David, 231 ; Ss. 
Francis, 250 ; Martyrdom of St. Sebas- 
tian, 252-3; Four Evangelists, 268; 
Judith, 294-5 ; Frescoes of Grotto Fer- 
rata, 297 

Donations to the Pope, 316 

Dorocleides, Inscription in honor of, 123 

Doria, Andre, 223 ; 01ympia,223; Palace, 

Dracontios, quoted, 122 

Dress, Influence of, on Art, 113-14 

Duels in 1537, 173 

'Dying Gladiator,' Statue of, 111. 


Easter Sunday in St. Peter's, 351 
Ecclesiastic Government, 311 
Education— Newspapers and periodicals, 

65, 76 ; General Features in Italy, 73-88; 

in Rome, 272-4 
'Entombment,' by Caravaggio, 163 
'Eurythrea,' by Michael Angelo, 19 
Este, Alphonso d', 184 
Este, Hippolyte d', 177 
Esquilio, Story of, 318-19 
Etang de Berre, 2 
♦Eve/ by Domenichino, 231 ; by MichMi 

Angelo, 192 ; by Raphael, 156 



EvSqne de Liege,' by Delacroix, 146 
*Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Para- 
dise, 1 by Michael Angelo, 192 
Ezekiel, 1 by Michael Angelo, 190 

Paenza, Princess of, 173 

Farnese 'Hercules, 1 58, 138; 'Bull, 1 58; 

the Family of in XVII. Century, 211 ; 

Palace, 218-220 
'Faun 1 of Praxiteles, 111 : other 'Fauns, 1 

Ferdinand, King, 70 
Ferrara, Duke of, 176 
Ferrari, Professor, 77 
Fertility of Soil near NHples, 72 
Fetes— at the Vatican, 177 ; of Lorenzo di 

Medici, 180-2 
Fidenoe, Acropolis of, 293-4 
Finances, 74 ; at close of XVI. Century, 

Flaminio, 261 
Flaubert, 107 
Fontana, 261 

'Fornarina, 1 by Raphael, 232 
Forster, 98 
Forti, 28 

Fortune, 1 by Guido, 166 
Forum, 134. 

'Four Evangelists, 1 by Domenichino, 268 
Frascati, Walk to, 293 
Freedom of Speech, 77 
Fenelon and Homer, 197 
France, its present reputation abroad, 

12 ; in time of Bossuet, 330-1 
French Occupation of Rome, effect of, 308 
Frescoes — Chevalier d'Arpino, 294-5; 

Farnese Palace, 159-62 ; Sistine Chapel, 

189-95; San Andrea della Valle, 268; 

Vatican, 141 ; Villa Aldobrandini, 294 
Funeral Procession of Capuchins, 249 

Gandie, Duke of, 174-7 

Gautier, 107 

Garibaldi, 36, 66, 73 

Genzano, 325 

Gem, 237^11 

Ghetto of the Jews, 218 

Giannone, 77 

Gioberti, 75 

Giordano, Luca, 32, 62-3, 95-6; 'Truth,' 
96 ; 'Benevolence, 1 96 

Giraud's Comedy, 'L'Ajo nel imbaraz- 
zo, 1 283 

Girodet, 351 

Goethe, 56, 108, 183 

Goldoni, 213 

Gonsalvi, Cardinal, 305 

ioudimel, 346 

Government, obstructed by Sinecnrists, 
69-71 ; Characteristics at Rome, 272-3, 
287, 305 ; Oppression and injustice, 
309-10 j Characteristics of Temporal in 
Ecclesiastic hands, 311, 315; (See Pol- 

Gozzi, Carlo, 213 

Gregory, Pop© St., 77 

Gregory XV., 208 
Grotto Ferrata, Abbey of, 206-7 
Guercino, 60, 206-7; Magdalen, 60; St 
Petronia, 164-5 ; Sibyl Persica, 165 ; Au- 
rora, 206 ; Herminia meeting Tancred. 
Guerin, Eugenie de, 240; Sculptor 351 
k Guida Spiritual^ of Molinos, 256 
Guido, 32, 207, 231 ; Fortune, 166 ; Rapa 
of Ariadne, 166 ; Aurora, 206, 232: Mag- 
dalen, 221 ; Madonna adoring the In- 
fant Jesus, 226 ; Andromeda, 232 ; Cen- 
ci, 233 ; St. Michael, 250 ; Assumption, 


Hadrian, Statue of, 59 

Hegel, 75 

Heine, 201 

Herculaneum— see Pompeii 

Hercules d'Este, 176-7 

'Hercules, 1 Statue in bronze gilt, 112 

'Herminia and Tancred, 1 by Guercino, 

'Hippias 1 (In Plato), 52 

Homer, 107, 121, 125; compared with Fe- 
nelon, 197 

'Holy Family 1 by Titian, 224 

'Horse,' statue of in Museo Borbonico, 58 

Houses — of Eumachia, 45 ; of Marcus Lu- 
cretius, 48 ; of Sallust, 48 ; of Corne- 
lius Rufus, 48 ; of Diomed, 49 ; of Livia, 
292; commonplace character of modern, 


Ignatius (St.), Statue of, 242 

'11 Mese di Maria, 1 318-319 

Imola, Prince of, 173 

Imperia, 159 

Impressibility of the Southern Man, 240 

'Innocent X., 1 by Valasquez, 227 

Ischia, 37, 41 

Italian Art, the Native, 140 

Intellectual Condition of the Country. 

(See Education, Politics, Religion, So» 



'Jeremiah, 1 by Michael Angelo, 190 

Jesuits— College, 77 ; Spirit, 238-9 ; Char 
acteristics, 241 ; Policy of, 243-7 ; Pre 
scription for Devoutness, 245-7 j Exef 
cita Spiritualia, 246; (See ReligioD.) 

'Jonas, 1 bv Michael Angelo, 190 

Josepin, 62, 261 

'Judgment of Paris, 1 bv Raphael, 154 

'Judith,' by Domenichino, 294-5 

'Julia,' Statue of, 126 

Julius II., 141, 147, 177 

'Juno Queen' of Villa Ludovisl, 204 

'Juno,' Statue of, 111 

'Jupiter Stator,' Column*, 11T. 


Kanu*e, King, 254 



Labor, State of, 212; (See Politics, So- 

Landriani, 101 

Landscape Art in Italy, 224 

Landseer, 227 

Lanfranco, 32, 62, 228 

Lapis-lazuli (largest piece in the world), 

'Laoco5n,' 129-30 

'Larmoyeur,' by Ary Scheffer, 146 

'Last Judgment,' byMichael Angelo, 194-5 

Latin Spirit has retarded Italy, 354 

•L'Aje nel Imbarrazzo' of Giraud, 283 

Lake Albano, 327 

'La Vergine,' (a weekly publication,) 318 

Laws, (See Politics.) 

Legrain, 86 

Leo X., 184-5, 254; Portrait by Raphael, 

Leopardi, 78 

Liber, St., 254 

Library of Monte Casino, 94 

Liguori, St., 250 

Livia, House of, 292 

Livy, 89 

Lodging in Rome, 99 

'Loggia,' by Raphael, 156 

Lorraine, Claude, 197 

Lottery Offices, 267-8 

Louis XTV., 178 

Love in Italy to-day, 80-2 ; (See Society 
and Religion.) 

Luca Giordano, 32 

•Lucretia and Sextus,' by Cagnacci, 168-9 

Ludovisi, Cardinal, 206, 208 

Luoghi di Monte, 208 

Luther and Calvin, Protestantism of, 339 

*Lybia,' by Michael Angelo, 190 

Lysippus, 120-1 

•Lysis' of Plato, 123 

•Lysistratus' of Aristophanes, 124 


Macaulay on Catholicism, 340 
Machiavelli, portrait of, by Bronzino, 226 
'Madonna' — 'adoring the Infant Jesus.* 

Guido, 226 ; 'da Foligno,' by Raphael, 

151, 164 
Madonna Boxes, 74 

'Magdalen'— by Guercino, 60 : by Tinto- 
retto, 165-6; two by Guido, 221; by 

Titian, 225 
'Mandragora,' La, 185 
Manhes, General, 68 
Manufacturing Interests obstructed by 

Sinecurists, 69-71 
Marcellus' Theatre, 135 
'Mare au Soleil,' by Decamps, 146 
Marini, 258 
'Marriage of Alexander and Roxanna,' 

by Raphael, 143, 154 
Marseilles, 1 

*Mars' of Villa Ludovisi, 204 
•Martyrdom of St. Sebastian,' by Dome- 

nichino, 252-3 
•Massacre of the Innocents,' by Raphael, 


Mausoleums of .he Popes in St. Peter'i 


'Maudit,' Le, 76 

Mechanics of the Romagna, 306 

Medici, Julian de, 171 

'Meleager,' 127-8 

•Menexenes' of Plato, 123 

Mengs, Parnassus, 201 

•Mercury Belvedere,' 128-9 ; of Ludovifli 
Villa, 204-5 

Messalina, Bust of, 115 

Michael Angelo, 15, 96, 150, 170, 186-195, 
218, 252-3: Moses, 105-6; Jeremiah, 
Ezekiel, Persica, Jonas, Lybia, Ery 
thraea, 190 ; Deliverance of Israel, Mur- 
der of Hasphernes, Haman, Adam 
and Eve, 191 ; Brazen Serpent, Eve, 
192 ; Expulsion of Adam and Eve from 
Paradise 192-3 ; Twenty Youths, 193 ; 
Delphica, 194 ; Last Judgment, 194-5 ; 
Figures in Sistine Chapel, 344 ; Cruci- 
fixion of St. Peter, St. Paul stricken 
to the Ground, 349 

Miserere, 345 ; those of Palestrina and Al- 
legri, 346-7 

•Mistresses' of Titian, 221, 224-5 

Modern Art in Rome, 271 

'Modesty,' by da Vinci, 221 

Molinos, 256-7 

Montaigne, 292 

Monte Casino, 91-7; Library, Monks, 94; 
Church, Altar, Organ, 96 

Monte Cavi, 327 

Monks, Number of, in Rome, 250 ; Occu- 
pation of, 249-50 ; (See Religion.) 

Monuments of Rome and Paris com- 
pared, 202 

'Moses,' by Michael Angelo, 105-6 

Mozart, 153, 162 

'Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes,' 
by Bassan, 95 

Municipal Spirit stimulated bv Papacy. 
355 • (See Politics.) 

Murrillo, St. Catherine, 163 

Musee Campana, 59 

Museo Barbonico, 53 

•• Pio Clemen tino, 126 

Musset, 201 

Mustapha, 101. 


Naples— Climate, 22-3 ; Beauty, 23^ ; A 
Greek Colony, 24 ; Streets, 25 ; People, 
25-8; Disorder Compared to London, 
25; Spanish Dominion, 25-6; Monks, 
26 ; Abbes, 26 ; Statues of the Virgin, 
Christ, and Saints, 26; Churches ana 
Religious Sentiment, 28; Architects 
and Painters, 28; Incongruous Civili- 
zation, 50; The 'Naples Psyche,' 59; 
National Guard, 71-2; Garrison, 72; 
Fertility of Soil, 72; Cotton Cultiva- 
tion, 72-4; Schools, 77; Intellect* ^ 
and other Traits, 75-6, 83-4 

Napoleon, 330 

Narcissus, Statuette from Pompeii, 54 

Nardi, Jacopo, 180 

Nemi, Lake, 326 

Nero, Bust of, 115 

Night in Rome, 17-19 



Night at Sea, 2-3 
Nile, Statue of the, 123 
Newspapers, 65 


Olympia, 212 

Olympiad, 122 

Olympic Games, 57 

Oppression and Injustice of Government, 

309-10; (See Politics.) 
Orsini, 282 
Overbeck, 183 


Paganism in Catholicism, 27 

Painting, Italian, Contrasted with Greek 

Sculpture, 229 
Palazzo dei Conservatori, 110 
Palestrina, 345-6 

Palm Sunday in St. Peter's, 342-4 
Palma, il Vecchio, 167 
'Panebianco,' Cardinal, 101 
Pantheon, 132-4 

Papacy. (See Politics, also Religion.) 
Paris Monuments, 202 
Parmegiano, 61 
'Parnassus,' by Mengs, 201 
Passport, the Pope's, 271 
Paul II., 185 

Paul III.— Portrait by Titian, 61 ; Celli- 
ni's Account of, 177 
Paul IV., 254 
Paul V., 207, 261 
Pauline Chapel Illuminated, 347 ; By Day, 

Pausillippo, 34, 36 
Peasants, High Spirit of, 71-2 
Periodicals and Papers, 76 
Perotto, 173 

'Perseus,' by Canova, 128 
'Persica,' by Michael Angelo, 190 
Perugino, 1, 149, 151-2 
Philosophical Taste of Neapolitans, 75-6 
'Philip II.,' painted by Titian, 61 
Piazza Navona, Fountain of, 17-18 
Piazzo del Popolo, 202 
Piedmontese, Advent of, 305-6 
Piranesi, 17, 98 
Picaresco Novels, 212 
'Pieta,' by Annibale Carracci, 226 
Piombo, Sebastian del — 'Andrea Doria,' 
226; 'Scourging,' 269; 'Visitation,' 228 
Pius V., 254 
Pius VII., 311 

Pius IX., Character of his Supporters, 
283-4 ; Retrogressive, 311 ; Per- 
sonal Appearance, 352 ; (See Poli- 
tics, Religion.) 
Plague, the, 62 
Plato, 55, 123, 128 

'Pluto bearing off Proserpine,' by Ber- 
nini, 205 
Politics— General state of, in Italy, 65-85 ; 
Newspapers, 65 * Italian and French 
Revolution compared, 69; Sinecurists, 
69-71 ; Peasantry acquiring property 
and going to work, 72 ; Finances, 74 ; 
Epochs of Italy, 165 ; Labor, 212 ; Pope's 
passport, 271 ; Precetto, 272 ; Govern- 

ment has crushed patriotism in Rome, 
273-4; 'Italy or the Pope?' 304-5; 
Government uncertain and partial, 
305; Italian love of politics, 308; 
French occupation of Rome, 308 ; Po- 
litical oppression, 309-10; Taxation, 
312-13; Influence of Religion, 329-10; 
Latin municipal spirit, 354 ; Essentials 
of Italian progress, 356 ; (See Garibaldi, 
also Victor Emanuel.) 

Pompeii. 45 ; Temples of Justice, 45 ; Ve- 
nus, 45; Mercury, 45: Neptune, 45; 
House of Enmachia, 45 ; Forum, 45,* 
Curia, 45 ; Streets, 47 ; Houses, 48, 49 
50 ; Theatre, 51 ; Amphitheatre, 51 
Baths, 51 ; Street of Tombs, 52 ; Sub 
jects of Pictures and Statuettes, 53, 54; 
Religion, 57 ; Excavations, 78 

Pompeio, 175 

Pompey the Great, Bust of, 114 

Ponte Molle, 290-2 
"■' San Sisto, 159 

Pontormo, 180 

Pope,' painted by Sebastian del Piombo, 

Popes, Interesting Remarks on those ol 
Sixteenth Century, 254; (See Educa- 
tion, Politics, Religion, Society.) 

Porta, Jacques della, 237 ; Fra Guglielm* 
della, 350 

Porphyry, 335 

Porta Pia, 261 

Porta Prima, Excavations at, 292-3 

Porticos, 29 

Poussin, 197 ; Landscapes, 222 

Pozzuoli, 34-5 

'Presentation of Christ at the Temple, 
by Fra Bartolomeo, 165 

Preti, 62 

Proclus, 335 

Primaticcio, 50 

Provence, 1 

'Prodigal Son' in Vatican Museum, 163 

Progress of Italy. (See Politics.) 

'Psyche' at Naples, 59 

'Pulpit of St. Gudule,' 242-3 

Quirinal Palace, 106; Gardens, 258-9 


'Rape of Ariadne, 1 by Guido, 166 

'Rape of Enropa,' by Paul Veronese, 115, 

Raphael, 140-G4 ; Portraits by, 59, 60 ; Bat- 
tie of Constantine, 140-1 ; Loggia, 141- 
56 ; Four Stanze, 141 ; Transfiguration, 
142-3 ; Massacre of the Innocents, 143; 
Cartoons, 143-4; Conflagration of Bor- 
go, 144: Parnassus, 144-5; Deliver- 
ance of St. Peter, 145 ; Madonna de 
Foligno, 151, 164; Descent from the 
Cross, 152; Marriage of Alexander 
and Roxanna, 153; Judgment of Paris, 
154; Sibyls, 155-6; Eve, 156; Carya- 
tides of the Hall of Helrodorus, 156-7 ; 
School of Athens, 157-8; Frescoes in 
Farueso Palace, 159-162 ; Venus r* 



ceiving the Yas? . 160-1 ; Psyche borne 
through the air by Cupids, Venus en- 
treating Jupiter, 161; Galatea, 161-2; 
Fresco in Academy of St. Luke, 166 ; 
Violin-player, 230 ; Portraits attributed 
to him, 226-7 ; two Portraits, 227 ; For- 
narina, 233 ; Suonatore, 267 

Refuge, Places of, 210 

Religion— Italian compared with French, 
11 ; In Naples, 26-8 ; Pagan element in 
Catholicism, 27; General Features in 
Italy, 74-9 ; Jesuits, 238-46 (See title in 
index) ; Ecclesiastics in Rome, 249-50 ; 
In city of Rome, 252, 266 ; Guida Spi- 
rituali of Molinos, 256; Influence of 
Church in private affairs, 273-5 ; Super- 
stitions and Ceremonies, 316-23; Ec- 
clesiastical Government, 329-40; Pro- 
testantism of Luther and Calvin, 339 ; 
Macaulay on Catholicism, 340; (See 

Renaissance, Manners and Customs of 
the, 172-8 

Renan, 76, 322 

Revolution, Italian compared with 
French, 69 

Ribera— 'Descent from the Cross,' 32-3 ; 
Silenus, 60 

Rinaldi, Count. 214 

'Rivals' of Plato, 121 

'River God,' Statue of, 111 

Rocca di Papa, 327 

Romano, Giulio, 159 ; 'Battle of Constan- 
tino,' 141 ; 'Bacchanals,' 201 

Romanism in Spain and Italy, 256; 
Catholicism and the Pope, 329-33; 
Dead Forces, 333-6; Active Forces, 
3S6-40; Future of, 339; Macaulay on, 
340 ; (See Politics, Religion.) 

Rome— Ancient Characterized, 9-10 ; 
Modern Characterized, 100-6; Present 
Incongruities, 13 ; Ancient and Modern 
contrasted, 239 ; Number of Churches, 
266 ; Squalidity, 269-70 ; Present State 
of Art, 271 ; Precetto, 272 ; Schools and 
Professors, Government troubles Stu- 
dious Men, 273; Government Influ- 
ence on People, 273-4; Alms of the 
Government, 275 ; Poverty of the Peo- 
ple, 275-7 ; Social Characteristics, 275- 
81; Use of Patrons, 281; Aristocracy, 
283: Lack of Society, 284-5; Occupa- 
tion of Women, 285 ; Occupation and 
Interests of Men, 285-6 ; Agriculture, 
286 ; Social Distinctions, 286-7 ; Scarci- 
ty of Labor, Government Interference 
in Private Affairs, 287 ; Taste for Equal- 
ity, 294: Peasantry, 298-304; Indul- 
gence ol Government, 305; Need of 
Landed Proprietorship, 306-7 

Rospigliosi Palace, Ceiling of, 232 

Rosso, 174 

Rubens, 16&-7. 


'Sacred and Profane Love,' by Titian 228 
'Sacrifice of Abraham,' by Titian, 225 
'St. Agnes,' by Titian, 225 
'St. Catharine,' by Murillo, 163 
'St. Como,' Church of; 117 

'St. Francis,' by Domenichino, 950 

St. Germano (town), 92 

'St. Michael,' by Guido, 250 

'St. Paul Stricken to the Ground,' by Mi« 
chael Angelo, 349 , 

'St. Petronia,' by Guercino, 164r-5 

St. Peter's, 13-17 ; Louvre and Place do 
la Concorde compared with, 14 ; Effect 
of Facade on the Dome, 14 ; Faults of 
Facade, 14 ; Impression of Interior, 14 ; 
Composition of, 15 ; Character of Build • 
ers and Statues of Interior, 16 ; sum- 
ming up, 16-17 ; Mausoleums, 350-351 ; 
Stairway, 350 ; Baldacchino, 350 ; View 
from Steps in Holy Week, 341-342 ; Ba- 
silica on Good Friday, 349 

'St. Theresa' of the Chiesa della Vittoria, 
by Bernini, 347 

Salvator, 172 

Samnites, 90 

San Andrea della Valle, 268 

San Carlo, 85-6 

San Carlino, 86-7 

San Clemente, 269 

San Francesco a Ripa, 269 

San GaUo, 218 

San Giovanni in Laterano, 262, 263, 265. 
266: Torlonia Chapel, 263; Clement 
XIII. Chapel, 263; Grand Altar, 263 

San Giovanni Piazza, 323-324 

San Gennaro, 28 

San Martino— Ascent to Convent of, 28- 
29 ; Convent of, 29-33 ; Church of, 31- 
32; Pictures on Ceiling of Church ot 

San Pietro in Vinculo, 105 ; San Pietro in 
Montorio, 269 

San Sisto, Cardinal, 180 

Santa Maria della Pietra, 27 ; Statue of 
Modesty, 27 ; Dead Christ, 27 ; Sensa- 
tional Character of its Sculpture, 27 

Santa Chiara, 27 

Santa Fede, 28 

Santa Francesca, 117 

Santa Maria degli Angeli, 252 

Santa Maria Maggiore, 7, 261, 262 

Santa Maria della Pace, 154, 155, 248-9 

Santa Maria in Trastevere, 268-9 

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, 266 

Sauta Temista del Monte, 266 

Sarcophagus representing Story of Achil- 
les, 112-13 

Sarto (Andrea del) Madonnas and Ve- 
nuses, 228 

'Satyr" (Statuette from Pompeii), 54 

Savonarola, 189 

Savorelli, Vittoria, 285 

Scheffer's 'Larmoyeur,' 146 

Schidone, 62 

'School of Athens,' by Raphael, 157-8 

Schleiermacher, 339 

Schools, District, 77 ; (See Education.) 

Sciarra Palace, 220, 222 

Scipio Africanus, Bust of, 114 

Scipios, Tomb of, 126 r 

'Scourging,' by Sebast Jtn del Piombo, 26t 

Sculpture, Why it is the Greek Art, 54-5 ; 
Greek, contrasted with Italian Paint 
ing, 229 

'Senaca,' Statue of, 59 

'Septizonium' of Septimus Sev eras, 954 

Serapis, Temple of, 36 



•flextus Emplricus, 1 Statue of, 59 

Bforza, Duke of Milan, 179-80 

Shakespeare, 186 

'Sibyls.' by Raphael, 155-6 

*Sibyl Persica,' by Guercino, 165 

Signorelli, Luca, 94 

Sistine Chapel, Mass at, 102-S 

'Silenus ' by Ribera, 60 

Sixtus V., 207, 254-5, 261 

Smuggling of Books, 78 

Society— Requirements of, 11; Italian 
Traits, 11-12; In Rome, 146-7, 172-8, 
875-87 ; Representative Figure of Mod- 
ern Society, 184; Representative Fig- 
ures of Seventeenth Century, 184, 197 ; 
Roman Aristocracy, 207; Roman No- 
ble, 210, 211 ; Moral Decadence of the 
Seventeenth Century, 213; Guido's 
Time, 232-3 

Socrates quoted, 47, 119-20 

Solimene, 32 

Sophocles, 57 

Sorrento, 40 

Spadaro, Micco, 61-2 

Spanish Color, in painting, 163 

Spaventa, 75 

Spencer, 158 

Stanze, Raphael's four celebrated, 141 

Stendhal, 5, 11, 128, 279, 315 

Strasbourg Cathedral, 234-5 

'Suonatore' of Raphael, 267 

Swiw Guard, 101-2, 342 


Tamisius, 159 

Taxation, 312-13 ; (See Politics.) 

Temples, of Venus, 117; also see Pompeii 

Terence, Bust of, 114-115 

Theatre ; see Amphitheatre 

Theresa (St.), 319 

Theophrastus, Bust of, 114 

'Three Ages of Man,' by Titian, 225 

'Three Graces,' by Titian, 229 

Tiber, 270 

Tibaldo, Portrait of by Raphael, 59 

Tiberius, Statue of, 59: Bust of, 115 

Titian, 167; 'Philip II.,' 61 ; 'Paul III.,' 
61 ; Dan®, 63 ; Callisto, 167-168 ; 'Van- 
ity,' 168 ; Mistress, 221 ; Holy Family, 
224 : Mistresses, two, 224-225 ; 'Magda 
len/ 225 ; Sacrifice of Abraham, 225 : 
St. Agnes, 225 ; 'Three Ages of Man,* 
225; ? Sacred and Profane Love,' 228; 
'Three Graces,' 229 

Titus, Statue of, 59 

Tintoretto's Magdalen, 165-6 

'Tolla' of Edmond About, 283 

Tomb of the Scipios, 126-7 ; also see 

Torre del Greco, 38-9 

•tforoo' in the Vatican, 187-8 

Tosti, Father, 94, 832, 833 

Toulon, 36 

'Transfiguration' by Raphael, 142-8 

Trajan, Bust of, 115 

Triumph of Camilla (a renaissance fgtej , 

of Death (a renaissance fete), 180 
'Triumph of David,' by Domenichino, 231 
Trinita del Monte Convent, 104 
'Truth,' painted by Luca Giordano, 96 
Trivulzio, 172 


'Vanity,' by Titian, 168 ; by da Vinci, 

Valentinois, Duke, 173-4 
Valery, 98 

Vatican, 108-9, 119, 130 
Vasari, 28, 148, 162, 175 
'Venus Callipygis,' 59, 138 
Vera, 75 
Veronese, 116, 168— Rape of Europa, llfr- 

17 ; 'Lucrezia Borgia,' 226 
Vespasian, Bust of, 115 
Vesuvius, 23 
Vico, 75 

Victor Emmanuel, 36, 66, 71, 77, 287 
Vignolles, 218, 237 
Vinci, Leonardo da, 295— Virgin and 

Child, 60; 'Modesty,' 221; ^Vanity,' 

Villas— Reale, 22; Mandragone, 29, 42; 

Albani, 196-201 ; Borghese. 202-3 ; Lu- 

dovisi, 204-7 ; of Pope Julius HI., 289- 

90 ; Aldobrandini, 294 
'Violin-player,' by Raphael, 220 
'Visitation,' by Sebastian del Piombo, 228 
Voltaire, 76 

Volterra, Daniele de, 266 
Volturno, 89. 


Washing of Feet in St. Peter's, 347-8 

Wealth of Roman Clergy, 306-7 

Well of Santa Pudentiana, 263 

Winkelmann, 201 

Women— Of Rome, 13 ; of Capua, 91 ; is 

Modern and Antique Costumes, 125-6; 

Occupation in Rome, 285; (See S* 

'Wrestlers,' by Canova, 128. 


Xenophon, 128. 

Zuccheri, Lives of the two, 395-1 

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